HealthLedger is working to revolutionize the way healthcare operates at the ground level. Traditionally, healthcare has remained expensive because many operational costs are redundant. Questionnaires filled out for each clinic, charts reviewed and tests re-ordered, and that’s just the icing on the cake.
Blockchain technology can do more than just save everyone money, it can also help prevent improper access to health records via blockchain rights management. Time is money, right? Well, blockchain can even save time spent faxing, scanning, and sending documents. Think of blockchain like a filing cabinet—except every office that is connected has all of the files simultaneously.
How does the Healthledger EHR exchange platform work?
HealthLedger uses the HyperLedger framework to place health records on the blockchain. By working with a pre-established framework, the team behind HealthLedger has access to solutions developed by an open-source coding community. They can adapt others’ work to suit their needs without fighting over who owns what.
They will upload records to a permissioned blockchain that is shared with clinics in their network worldwide. Currently, medical practices have to record information from patients, obtain new patient paperwork, carry out any tests they don’t have a record for, and much more.
With a solution like HealthLedger, however, clinics, hospitals, and doctors can all share information more quickly, easily, and safely. They simply upload patient files to the blockchain and other offices will have access to the records at will, so long as they have been granted access.
What can it change?
Emerging technology is always promised as a cure-all for the world’s issues. The real trouble with changing the world is under-promising and over-delivering so that people consistently know you will follow-through. Blockchain can help with many issues in healthcare, but it will not fix everything wrong with the industry.
Issues HealthLedger may be able to solve:
- Data security
- Time efficiency
- Data errors
- Customer Experience (HIPAA constraints on phone-based lab result delivery)
- High cost of operations (and thus treatment)
- Paper waste
How can HealthLedger solve them?
- Data security is improved by putting information in a shared database with very specific permissions, limited access, and other controls like MAC Address whitelisting can be implemented as well.
- Time efficiency is improved by sharing files into a common set of locations, so other offices have access to them readily.
- Data errors are reduced by allowing physicians and technicians to focus more on their tasks at hand than worrying about filing the charts and results away.
- Patients no longer have to come into the office to retrieve their lab results or other test results. The information can be shared securely using a blockchain-based decentralized application (dApp).
- Operational costs can be reduced through time savings and increased work efficiency, which should result in cheaper costs of medical visits.
- Paper waste can be lessened by taking notes on tablets and PCs, then uploading them directly to the blockchain.
How might it impact the consumer experience?
Consumers may experience lower costs for their treatment, shorter visits to medical offices. Customers struggle against expensive medical visits and lengthy questionnaires—not to mention long lines in busier cities—everytime they need to get a check-up or need assistance.
What services do they currently have in the works?
HealthLedger does not seem to have a publicly available GitHub repository. There are two other projects, one is developing a blockchain-based system for tracking organ donations, preventing medical abuse of incapacitated patients, and preventing organ trafficking. The HealthLedger project in question, however, is working to put all health-based records on the blockchain.
If you’d like to know more about HealthLedger, you can view their website. They do not have a public whitepaper, yellowpaper (technical document), or business plan at this time.
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Brennan is a blockchain technical adviser in the healthcare sector and blockchain entrepreneur who has worked on developing proprietary concepts for both artificial intelligence and enterprise blockchain. He is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Health Professions where he earned a M.S. in biomedical informatics.