On November 30th, 2016, the state of Illinois announced the launch of the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, founded for the purpose of exploring the application of blockchain technology to key government data-handling processes. One of the most promising developments of the initiative since its launch is its recent partnership with healthcare technology innovation consortium Hashed Health. The initial phase of the partnership will involve a pilot program aimed at improving the medical license credentialing process in Illinois through the use of blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. and distributed ledgerAn Attestation Ledger is a distributed ledger providing a durable record of agreements. It can also be expanded to include commitments or statements in so far that it provides evidence that these agreements, commitments or statements were made. technology.

Seal_of_Illinois

The Illinois BlockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. Initiative

Ever since its launch last November, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative has been active on a number of fronts. Prior to its partnership with Hashed Health in August, perhaps the initiative’s most significant move has been to clarify state law governing cryptocurrency. On June 13th, the initiative announced new rules governing the use of cryptocurrency among individuals and organizations operating in Illinois. According to their official statement, given that cryptocurrencies such as BitcoinA Cryptocurrency address is used to receive and send transactions on the network. An address is most commonly represented as a string of alphanumeric characters and sometimes referred to as wallets. Addresses can also be represented as a scannable QR code. and Ethereum are not issued by recognized financial institutions they do not meet the definition of legal tender found in the Illinois’ Transmitters of Money Act (TOMA). Nonetheless, cryptocurrencies still contribute to net worth as they can be exchanged for legal tender. Businesses in Illinois facilitating the exchange are therefore subject to TOMA regulations and will require a TOMA license. Furthermore, the cryptocurrencyA Cryptocurrency address is used to receive and send transactions on the network. An address is most commonly represented as a string of alphanumeric characters and sometimes referred to as wallets. Addresses can also be represented as a scannable QR code. owned by cryptocurrencyA Cryptocurrency address is used to receive and send transactions on the network. An address is most commonly represented as a string of alphanumeric characters and sometimes referred to as wallets. Addresses can also be represented as a scannable QR code. companies will be considered a “permissible investment.”

Hashed Health

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Hashed Health is a consortium of healthcare organizations largely devoted to spreading blockchain-based innovation throughout the healthcare sector. The consortium offers its member organizations blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. technology support in product development, regulatory assistance and several other critical areas. Gaining access to the wealth of health expertise and technology guidance that Hashed Health provides, member organizations can launch new health-focused and blockchain-based programs and technologies more efficiently, effectively and affordably.

The partnership

On August 8th, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative announced a pilot program in partnership with Hashed Health to explore the application of blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. and distributed ledgerAn Attestation Ledger is a distributed ledger providing a durable record of agreements. It can also be expanded to include commitments or statements in so far that it provides evidence that these agreements, commitments or statements were made. technology to the process of issuing and tracking state medical licenses. At a technical level, the project will make full use of smart contractsA digital commodity is a scarce, electronically transferrable product or service. (small, dedicated programs that store and retrieve specific units of information on-demand) to update medical credentials held in the shared, distributed, blockchain-based system.

According to Bryan Schneider, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the pilot program they are launching in partnership with Hashed Health will initially enhance the state’s efforts to make medical licenses for Illinois health professionals more portable. In the long term, the program could potentially serve as a leading example of how all states could more effectively verify and otherwise credential medical licenses. Both providers and payers alike may one day have a national, shared, secure and efficient repository of medical license data, ultimately improving provider listings while streamlining the medical claims process.

Jennifer O’Rourke, Illinois BlockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. Initiative’s BlockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. Business Liason, foresees “sharing our learnings” not only with medical licensing boards in other states, but with all parties with an interest in the project’s goals. CEO of Hashed Health, John Bass, sees the broader goal of the project as a bold proof-of-concept for the value of blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. that will contribute to a “digital transformation” not only for the state of Illinois, but for the public and private sectors as a whole. Ultimately, they are trying to usher in an era of greater “transparency and trust” between individual citizens and their government.

A promising future

Overall, the Illinois BlockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. Initiative is a bold attempt to bring blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. technology to one of the most important bodies of data handled by state government: medical licenses. By choosing to partner with healthcare technology innovation consortium Hashed Health they are drawing upon a wealth of blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. and healthcare expertise that should increase the odds that their pilot program will succeed. If it does, we should expect that the program will serve as a model for other states and organizations that are eager to take advantage of the promise of blockchainA private key is a string of data that shows you have access to cryptocurrency in a specific wallet. Private keys enable a user to spend from the wallet through a cryptographic signature. to help data flow securely and efficiently throughout the greater healthcare system.

To learn more about the Illinois Blockchain Initiative and other developments in blockchain, contact us.

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