Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and MediBloc to Use Blockchain in Storing And Sharing Patient Data
The Massachusetts General Hospital, which is currently one of the Top 5 hospitals in the United States, is now having a partnership with MediBloc, a Korean startup. The partnership will see the company using the blockchain technology to manage the way it stores and shares their patient data better.
The director of the Laboratory of Medical Imaging and Computation, Synho Do, has affirmed that the main goal of the hospital is to expand its research in a range of different areas that will range from medical image analysis to other other ones using the blockchain technology as well as some cutting-edge technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). The institutions is a joint venture of the hospital and the Harvard Medical School.
After stating this to the media, the director has affirmed that the collaboration with Medibloc is very important and that the companies are aiming to explore all the inherent potential of the blockchain technology in an effort to provide secure solutions for health information exchange and a better integration of AI applications that can help in the workflow of healthcare.
The Sharing Problem
The main problem that this new solution is trying to solve is that people go to hospitals and information about them is created there and the hospitals keep it as safe as they can, but this creates an issue that the information simply cannot be shared very well exactly because of this issue.
If you have to keep it so secure, it can be difficult to share this information in a practical way and this is why the problems happen. Either the data is incompatible because the institutions do not share the same technology or it is simply too private and secured to be properly shared.
By using the blockchain technology created by MediBloc, the distributed ledger will be used to share information about the patients in a secure way because it is encrypted and only with the right tools it can be unencrypted. IT is also a good idea because the information would be compatible with all using the same blockchain.
While many companies are trying to develop a blockchain that can solve this important problem, most of them are not doing so in the company of big medical institutions like in this case. This helps a lot because instituions such as the Massachussets General Hospital are very important and the blockchain companies can learn a lot from them.
If everybody keeps their own data, it is harder for pharmacies, hospital and research bodies to collaborate. In Boston, cited by Kamran Khan, the CEO of Translo, an IT company that works with healthcare systems, there are 27 different systems for only 17 hospitals, more systems than hospitals, which is simply crazy.
Converting all these systems would be hard and this is the main reason why many companies are struggling to use this system.
Partners In Asia
MediBloc’s main advantage is that the company was able to get many major partners around the whole world. If things are somewhat difficult in America, at least in Asia they are better. Medibloc has partnered with eight medical institutions and 14 technology companies.
The medical institutions even include two important public hospitals in South Korea, the Bundang Seoul National University and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.
According to reports, the focus of the institution now is to create an ecosystem in which the companies will be able to exchange data and to build their apps an benefit their patients.
Some of the apps of the company will go live in the first half of 2019 in beta testing phase. One of the pilot tests will see around 300 users selling their information about symptoms and prescriptions to the company, which will analyze their data and sell it to pharmaceutical and insurance companies.