16% of Healthcare Stakeholders Plan to Use Blockchain by 2017

Jennifer Bresnick | Health IT Analytics | January 4, 2017

Healthcare organizations may be moving more quickly than anticipated towards adopting blockchain technology, a new survey indicates.

Blockchain may have entered the healthcare lexicon in 2016 as a somewhat fuzzy concept, but the innovative method of securing and validating data transactions is poised to take the industry by storm over the next twelve months, according to an international survey conducted by IBM. Sixteen percent of the 200 healthcare executives participating in the poll have concrete plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution within their organizations in 2017, while an additional 56 percent are likely to follow by the end of the decade.

Regulatory compliance issues, clinical trials, and electronic health records will all present use cases for blockchain technology, as healthcare organizations seek the tools and strategies required to build truly secure, private, and comprehensive longitudinal health records for their patients. Since data stored on blockchains can be shared securely with a pre-approved and trusted group of individuals, patients can be sure that their data is being used properly, that it is all held in one single place - in one standardized format – and that there can be complete transparency, accuracy, and trust in the information across all of its users.

Seventy percent of likely early adopters believe that blockchain will help them improve the management of health record data, while sixty percent anticipate that the technology will help them access new and trusted information that can be kept secure. Among the “trailblazers,” or those planning to implement a blockchain solution within the next year, information sharing and interoperability are primary motivators. Sixty-six percent believe that blockchain will help reduce the frustration of making clinical decisions based on incomplete patient data, and the same number envision a reduction in data breaches and other negative security-related events when blockchain systems are installed...