5 Editors, 50 Contributors, 500 Pages: Blockchain in Healthcare — 1st Edition
Why a book, why now and how will blockchain change the way we think of healthcare
On February 12th, the editors: Dr. David Metcalf, Director of the Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) at UCF; John Bass, Founder and CEO of Hashed Health; Dr. Max Hooper, CEO of Merging Traffic; Vikram Dhillon research fellow at the Institute of Simulation and Training, UCF and Dr. Alex Cahana, Venture Partner and head of CryptoOracle Health, will be at the Annual HIMSS conference in Orlando to launch and sign the first edition of our book: Blockchain for Healthcare- Innovations that Empower Patients, Connect Professionals and Improve Care.
Why a book?
If you google ‘blockchain and health’ you get over 91,000,000 results in less than a second (below). These results include peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed articles, research reports, newsletters, blogs and ads in varying scope, quality and emphasis.
For anyone who is interested in blockchain and healthcare, the navigation to find credible, helpful and nuanced information can be somewhat daunting.
With this in mind, the editors decided to curate from over 50 contributors a collection of early successful projects and review real-world use cases that give readers practical ideas on how to apply this technology in their organizations and existing networks.
The book is divided into three major sections:
In part 1 we explore the foundations and background of blockchain in healthcare. We review protocols, networks and foundational use cases that created the current technological landscape.
In part 2 our contributors provide evidence of how the technology is being realized in today’s world through credible use-cases currently underway.
Part 3 provides a diverse future view that examines the intersections of blockchain with artificial intelligence, genomics, medical tourism and how blockchain can be used in smart cities initiatives.
The book therefore speaks not only about blockchain, but about the synergies of blockchain with other technologies, or as Dr. David Metcalf says:
“I believe that the true power of blockchain will be unleashed when you consider blockchain and _ [blank] _.”
That blank represents:
- Any value chain in health or healthcare where there are issues of trust, transparency and incentive alignment.
- The important sub-disciplines where blockchain technology can help unlock the potential for automation of complex processes through smart contracts.
- The emergence of digital currencies or providing a trusted transaction record for a variety of healthcare operations and functions that can be improved through trust and transparency.
- The rise of community-owned solutions that empower consumers.
With over 200 blockchain based projects (and new ones added every day) and still a low-to-very-low level of adoption rate, it is important to continue and educate private and public healthcare sectors, government, investors and the public at large, on the utility of blockchain in healthcare.
We firmly believe that the potential impact of distributed ledger technology is not only vast but fundamental (below).
We posit that blockchain is not “just” a general purpose technology that allows processes to be better, faster, and cheaper.
We believe that through the change in economic activity that blockchain brings, it fundamentally changes the relations between all the stakeholders in healthcare.
How will blockchain change the way we think of healthcare
Healthcare systems are in a mess.
Being either described as a failure in the US (healthcare costs more, while we die younger) or Dickensian in the UK (seeing the resurgence of diseases described in the novels of Charles Dickens), the current healthcare system is not sustainable. It therefore continues to be a main issue for voters both in the US (below), as well as in post-Brexit UK.
Not surprisingly, current calls for a single payer in the US are increasing and voters are seeking assurances that the government will “take care of us”.
However it is important to note that a single payer is not the same as Universal Access to Healthcare and that creating a friction-full, centralized organization that is attack-, censor- and collusion-vulnerable may not be the best idea for healthcare in the digital age.
Therefore it is important to read the book, understand the advantages of using blockchain (peer-to-peer transactions, self-sovereignty, decentralization, network effect, tokenization) and help us redesign a better, more just, sustainable, but also resilient healthcare system.
Please feel free to reach out to us and discuss, debate and improve our book. It is intended to be a “live document” and as the Blockchain and CryptoHealth landscapes mature, so will our book in its 2nd edition…
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