The revolutionary nature of blockchain technology in storing data and intellectual properties is not limited to the banking and credit card industries, not by a long shot. Health providers and insurers are moving to blockchain platforms aggressively; the inherently safe nature of blockchain creates a secure haven for data as sensitive as medical records and statistics.
Legal ramifications of data breaches: apologies don’t work anymore.
Medical records by their very nature are private and sensitive. As is medical research and technology. More and more, companies with security breaches and data theft are being held responsible for that data loss, the consequences can be financially devastating.
Blockchain is a technology that arose from the Bitcoin dissemination worldwide. While bitcoin is both fascinating and unstable, the real take-away from bitcoin was the system designed to guarantee the security of all bitcoin transactions globally: Blockchain.
How does blockchain work?
A simple explanation of how blockchain works is that whatever data or information you are storing is sent down a line of thousands (even millions) of nodes. Each separate node has a kernel or piece of the information needed to create the whole. No single node has enough information for a hacker or data breach to make any sense of. Pair with that “security in numbers” concept, the encryption of each node to protocols different from the next, and you have a system guaranteed to be safe
Health companies are sitting up and taking notice.
In the years 2016 alone, multiple healthcare companies have started with blockchain as their primary data protection platform.
- Guardtime and Estonian eHealth got together and created a blockchain platform designed to protect over one million patient’s records by using Guardtime’s keyless signature structure.
- Aussie start-ups Brontech engineered a blockchain platform called Cyph. The main focus of Cyph is to create and maintain secure digital identities for healthcare providers sharing private information with their clients and patients.
- MedRec, while still in development is a system that manages medical records in conjunction with the Ethereum blockchain. MedRec plans to manage and store medical data at the “census-level” of volume, making it both a research and clinical blockchain.
What to take away from blockchain technology?
It is an asset to the medical field at every level. Every day we hear of more sensitive data being hacked by by some nation state intent on getting their hands on private information. Companies are now being held accountable for their data losses and breaches. The health industry needs to implement blockchain tech to protect their masses of sensitive data as quickly as possible. Myriad start-ups are responding to that need with blockchain platforms and secure infrastructures.
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