Intiva Health, based in Austin, Texas, addresses this problem with its credentials platform. Based on Swirld Hashgraph, it lets professionals hold credentials from all participating institutions in one place. They’re digitally authenticated, immune to tampering, encrypted, and under the professional’s control.
The Intiva business model
Licensed medical professionals can sign up for free for an account, which Intiva hopes will quickly build up participation. The whitepaper lists several Planned sources of revenue include sponsored opt-in alerts, referrals, promotional videos, and sales through the Intiva Health Marketplace. To a large extent, it’s the well-known model of free services supported by advertising.
Intiva’s NTVA tokens provide an incentive to use the platform. The platform issues a token reward for every end-user action. Users can spend tokens on goods and services bought through Intiva, as well as on accessing special benefits. The company recently launched a private sale of tokens. They stress that this isn’t an ICO; its purpose is to jump-start the token system, not to bring in investors.
The technical approach
Strictly speaking, Intiva’s platform isn’t blockchain-based. It uses hashgraph, which is a related distributed ledger technology. Like a blockchain, it stores all its data in multiple locations, using digital signing to guarantee authenticity and prevent changes. The differences between hashgraph and blockchain are rather technical. Hashgraph claims quicker resolution and better fault tolerance.
Documents are stored in the hashgraph. They’re encrypted so that only the owner can authorize access to them. For extra security, documents are fragmented over multiple nodes, so that cracking any one node won’t expose a document.
The owner of a document can share it with other parties. Sharing can be on a one-time basis with a limited duration. Individuals can request that their “pertinent metadata” be made available to potential employers; presumably this includes brief descriptions of their specialties and credentials. Providing this information is one of the ways Invita generates income.
Professionals can carry their documents from one job to another. If the platform is durable enough, they will be able to accumulate credentials over their entire careers.
Issues to consider
Intiva’s approach avoids the battle for dominance in the medical records market. It’s identified a niche of its own where there is relatively little competition. This niche doesn’t have to achieve as much of a critical mass as blockchain for medical records do. Even if professionals can retrieve only a quarter of their credentials through Intiva, that’s a significant saving in effort compared to the present system.
Granular access control is a complicated issue in any system that stores records in a digital ledger. The information Intiva has provided doesn’t give full details, but it’s clear that they’ve thought about the issue and are working on addressing it.
The biggest barrier to adoption will undoubtedly be technical inertia. Institutions that provide credentials will need to install new software and fit it into their record management systems. To make it useful, they’ll have to convert their existing documents, which may be a challenging task. If a few major medical schools get on board, that would be a big boost to the platform’s credibility.
The potential advantages of Intiva’s platform are clear. Professionals will be able to start new assignments more quickly. Healthcare facilities won’t be kept waiting. That means fewer obstacles to taking care of patients. There are many questions to be answered, but Intiva may be able to answer them all in due course.