Open Source Collaboration Key to Healthcare Blockchain Adoption

Elizabeth O'Dowd | HIT Infrastructure | August 24, 2017

Healthcare Blockchain depends on organizations understanding and preparing for the future of data exchange, says Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf.

Interest in healthcare blockchain continues to grow as organizations realize the potential data sharing advantages. Blockchain is not currently used in healthcare, but open source projects, such as Hyperledger, are working to develop blockchain standards that can eventually be used in healthcare. Entities are showing genuine interest in blockchain and are currently working on projects for future adoption, according to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf.

Last year the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted a healthcare blockchain essay contest in response to vendors approaching the agency and suggesting uses for blockchain in healthcare for provider directories and EHRs. The contest gave HHS a broad pool of examples from vendors and providers alike to get a better grasp on the potential reality of healthcare blockchain implementation.

Submissions ranged from directories of doctor certifications to payment and claims processing workflows. Coordinating workflows that involve several different parties have always been a challenge in healthcare. Blockchain could be the answer data exchange among providers, payers, and patients...