New era of Personal Healthcare Record (PHR) arrives with Blockchain Technology
“The hospital-centric medical record data keeping/sharing can now be safely decentralized through blockchain technology.”
MediBloc a blockchain startup is creating an ecosystem where medical records can be securely safe-kept and transferred by the rightful owners, the patients and not the hospitals. Its co-founders are both professional doctors with computer science background who realized the issues and limitations on medical record handling can be resolved through blockchain technology. Dr. Allen Wookyun Kho, a dental surgeon, used to work at Samsung Electronics as a software engineer. Dr. Eunsol Lee, a radiologist, is also a data scientist with experience at analyzing medical big data.
MediBloc is the world’s first company to merge blockchain technology onto PHR platform. MediBloc has already developed a demo-app whose official version will be released in October 2018. Dr. Kho said in an interview, “Healthcare industry is larger than electronic appliances industry, but medical data system is lagging big time. MediBloc allows individuals to have the rightful ownership of their own medical records. Institutions will no longer be in the center of medical data handling.”
He also pointed, “Hospital visit creates sizable medical data regarding various diagnosis, treatment, prescription. Under current medical data system, the patient cannot collect his/her own medical record easily. Patients, institutions, and doctors are all paying unnecessary costs for medical data management.”
For example, a patient may have to take the same blood test and x-ray tests again when he/she changes from hospital A to hospital B. A patient also may have to revisit and pay the hospital to issue a medical report. Patients are often the victims of extra cost burden from the current medical record keeping system.”
Doctors may have trouble providing appropriate treatment if patients incorrectly delivers his/her own medical history. Medical researchers can only have limited access to medical record data due to private data protection laws.
MediBloc believes blockchain technology is the key to solving this problem. Blockchain, the core technology behind crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, empowers credibility to digital data. Unlike existing institutions who save transaction records in a central server, blockchain distributes transaction records to all network users and asks for confirmation from the users. Data forgery and hacking can thus be prevented while ensuring transparency and credibility.
Dr. Kho stated, “blockchain’s credibility, transparency, and security have already been proven by the crypto-currencies currently being used throughout the world. MediBloc is developing next-generation medical data system that fully utilizes blockchain’s benefits.”
For example, like the miners of bitcoin, MediBloc participants record medical data on Medi Token (MED) blockchain. MED will be the crypto-currency used as a reward in the MediBloc ecosystem.
Medi Token (MED) can be used to compensate practitioners when they produce a new medical data for the patient. Researchers can directly purchase medical research data from individual patients. MED will be listed on crypto-currency exchanges so that it can be exchanged into other crypto-currencies or fiat currencies.
Dr. Kho explained, “Upon the patient’s approval, health care provider can input medical data into the MediBloc system and receive Medi Token (MED). Individuals, institutions, and corporations can purchase data on specific illness or environment from the individual users through Medi Token (MED).”
MediBloc plans to operate in Korea and China first and then go global. MediBloc has formed a partnership with Seum law firm for legal advice and is working closely with Quantum, a world-renowned blockchain institution based in China. MediBloc is discussing investment options with major VC investors and medical institutions.
Dr. Kho added, “There is a global social consensus around changing PHR paradigm. However, the medical insurance system differs by each country, and each system is extremely complicated. This is why we target Korea and China first which is much familiar to us.”
“People may think changing the paradigm of PHR is too ambitious for a startup. However, MediBloc aims to become the game changer in health care industry. We believe MediBloc will contribute to making a win-win strategy for patients and doctors in healthcare service industry.”
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