Reinventing Healthcare on the Blockchain – Toward a New Era in Precision Medicine
This white paper, brought to you by the Brightline Initiative and the Blockchain Research Institute, explores a new model of healthcare delivery that works for both medical professionals, the patients they serve, and the regulators providing oversight. In this model, patients co-create and own their data, have full access to it, and can monetize it on the blockchain. “Blockchain offers a potential solution: it enables us to put the patient at the center of the healthcare ecosystem and increase the security, auditability, and privacy of sensitive health data.”
Idea in Brief
Many global healthcare systems are in crisis because of prohibitive costs, limited access to care, unclear reimbursement models, patient safety and privacy concerns, the slow pace of innovation, data breaches, and varying quality of care. Some countries are reaching the tipping point at which healthcare provisions become unsustainable.
Blockchain offers a potential solution: it enables us to put the patient at the center of the healthcare ecosystem and increase the security, auditability, and privacy of sensitive health data and interoperability of systems that contain such personal information.
This distributed ledger instantiates a set of principles— collaboration, openness, and integrity—whereby healthcare providers, hospitals, laboratories and imaging facilities, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms, pharmacies, medical supply outfits, local public health agencies, national food and drug regulators, global centers for disease control, government lobbyists, medical schools, and professional healthcare associations come together and co-create data with full transparency, public access, and shared control, all for the benefit of the communities they serve.
Blockchain has been slow to catch on in healthcare; the sector is ripe for disruption. Numerous start-ups are working on applications for genomics and precision medicine and on solutions for patient data management, pharmaceutical provenance, clinical trials, and the administration of healthcare and insurance. These are just the beginning, with potential to reinvent the healthcare ecosystem.
Blockchain’s success depends on whether all stakeholders are willing not only to adopt its technical infrastructure and its core principles but also to participate in healthcare standards development and ongoing governance of blockchain-based healthcare platforms.