Next spring, technologists, business process experts, and forward-thinking industry leaders from around the world will convene at the University of Technology Sydney for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) Blockchain Conference 2017. Developed in partnership with the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA), this two-day event aims to “look beyond the hype” of blockchain technology and to focus instead on real opportunities for cost-saving implementations across a broad array of industries. An impressively diverse panel of experts will weigh in, not only on the disruptive potential for blockchain technologies to improve business processes, but also on the various obstacles that remain to be overcome before widespread adoption and realistic implementation can begin.
Although this conference is not specifically focused on the healthcare sector, there are a number of things on the agenda to be excited about for those interested in healthcare applications of blockchain technology. The first day of the conference is a plenary session in which panelists and keynote speakers will address such topics as:
- The latest real-world applications of smart contracts, highlighting those that move beyond mere regulatory compliance, product tracing, and service management.
- Design challenges currently hindering widespread blockchain adoption, including network integrity, distributed power, security, and rights preservation.
- The emerging need for skilled workers to make sure organizations remain competitive in the coming age of blockchain disruption.
Ways blockchain technology may reshape local and global economic markets and the way private industry responds to the new contours of supply and demand in a world of distributed process automation.
The regulatory framework necessary for organizations to embrace blockchain solutions and the responsibility of corporate entities to ensure adequate internal controls over open source technologies to reduce risk exposure in highly regulated industries.
On day two, there will be two separate streaming sessions offered, and participants will have their choice of which to attend. Stream 1 focuses on banking and financial applications, while Stream 2–the one more likely to appeal to healthcare organizations–focuses on government, smart contracts, and industry applications. There are a number of topics in this latter stream that sound promising:
- Blockchain solutions for verifying and storing medical records and proving identities.
- Real-world security and anti-fraud applications, including some that may be relevant to regulatory compliance in healthcare services for protecting sensitive patient data.
- The potential for distributed data processing to reduce or eliminate human links in organizational structures–including, presumably, in healthcare organizations and those they do business with, such as insurance companies and government oversight agencies.