A healthcare Blockchain collaboration has been announced by IBM with Anthem Inc. and Aetna. The aim of this collaboration is to produce an ecosystem based on Blockchain that aids the health care companies to increase transparency and to help them in the exchange and use of information. This collaboration will also allow these companies to collectively develop, share and ultimately bring solutions into the market that can lead the digital transformation agenda in the health care industry. Also, since the information won’t be coming from only one source and will be shared among multiple companies due to the use of Blockchain, administrative errors will be reduced and efficiency of exchanging health care information will be improved. This is a great step as not only will it enhance patient care, but will also help eliminate excessive costs. Furthermore, Blockchain will also, to a great extent, promote proper payment and claim processing, ensure consistent flow and exchange of health care records and help in maintaining directories.
Insights Regarding this Decision:
The reason this healthcare Blockchain collaboration raises a lot of interest is its people-centered focus. However, for blockchain systems to be powerful and compelling, a number of individuals need to join. One of the main hurdles for the innovation in medicinal services is getting members, since often incentives are misaligned between different groups of users. “Blockchain’s unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled and transparent way” according to Lori Steele, General Manager for Health Care and Life Sciences at IBM. “The fact that these major health care players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the health care system and ultimately improve patient experience.” “What Blockchain has to be able to do is create markets where a market didn’t previously exist,” Noah Zimmerman, director of Mount Sinai’s Health Data and Design Center and its recently launched Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research, told Healthcare Dive in an interview last summer. “The technology is still largely in the infrastructure-building stage”, he said. Still, there is a lot of hope hinging on Blockchain as an answer to data security and interoperability, which Aetna, Anthem and their partners appear ready to plumb.