This is part 8 of our eight-part series on the future of digital health. Check out our full white paper here if you want to see our complete vision for healthcare in the 2020s.
Just as the popularity of blockchain technology increased with greater scrutiny and decreased trust in global financial institutions following the 2008 financial crisis, we similarly believe that new trusted, safe, and private health data repositories will emerge in the face of our nation’s most recent public health failure. The seven previous trends we identified above will necessitate a new wave of security, privacy and compliance technologies to ensure that the gains we make are not eroded by a lack of patient and provider trust.
In a world where many have perceived government responses to the global pandemic as inadequate, and public health infrastructure as fragmented, trust in government institutions is at an all-time low. We believe that sources of trust outside centralized data repositories must become emergent, in the form of patient-controlled PHRs, and distributed ledger solutions that will decentralize and open patient data for patient-controlled consumption. Given the incentives for serving as a conduit for this data, the race to be healthcare’s “Grand Central Station” for health data will continue, a race that defined much of the 2010s.
However, we are looking for solutions that go beyond “blockchain for healthcare” — we want to see how these solutions are truly providing safe, trusted, and transparent sharing of medical data, and particularly how those solutions respect patient rights and patient privacy. One need only look to the demonstrated insecurity of platforms like Zoom (which now appears to be remediating these challenges) to see that many of the tools we currently use are not quite up to the task of delivering $3T in healthcare services.
Building on this need for privacy, security, and respect for autonomy, there is a continued need for investment in healthcare-specific data protection technologies. We at LionBird know, from our investment in this space, that many of the challenges of securing patient data are quite unique to healthcare, and whether in tele-consults, PHR-sharing, lab value communication, or population health intervention, the vulnerabilities of automating and transforming healthcare are terrifying and currently largely-unaddressed.
If you found this interesting, check out the full white paper, Eight Drivers of Digital Health in the 2020s, a comprehensive look at how LionBird views the future of digital health.