Taiwan hospital launches blockchain medical record-keeping platform

September 03, 2018
Chris Wheal

Taiwan’s top hospital has launched a bockchain-based platform to enable more efficient management of medical records, reported the Taipei Times this weekend.

Medical records can be easily shared using blockchain technology

Taipei Medical University Hospital rolled out its healthcare platform at the end of last week to improve patient referral services and to integrate individual healthcare networks on the island nation to provide better delivery of care and allow people easier access to their records.

Project collaboration

Indeed, more than 100 community clinics have collaborated on the project to develop what the hospital has called a “one-stop referral and long-term care service in support of the government’s Hierarchical Medical System policy”.

Using smart contracts – where blockchain validators verify agreements similar to the process used in coin transactions – those with the appropriate authorisation can easily access medical records and transfer data between medical institutions and personal patient portals, the hospital said.

Hospital superintendent Dr Chen Ray-jade said that through the system patients will have a “complete set of all their medical records, including high-resolution medical images, lab results, and clinical health exam information”.

He added: “Blockchain technology not only helps to combine electronic medical records with electronic health records from multiple hospitals and clinics, it also incorporates the additional security feature of notification and consent before any transfer takes place.”

Healthcare use cases

Medical record-keeping has long been suggested as a major use case for blockchain’s distributed ledger technology.

In April, Germany’s Camelot Consulting Group announced it had developed a blockchain solution for sensitive medical data called Hypertrust X-Chain where patient data is made available to authorised parties for therapy processes by means of decentralised data storage.

Greg Matthews, who created the MDigitaLife platform in the US for use in healthcare, told Forbes magazine earlier this year: “Blockchain could make the biggest impact in healthcare in enabling health outcomes that take a 360° view of the patient’s genetic profile, their demographic and socioeconomic status, the behaviours that impact their health, and their response to different treatments or combinations of treatments.

“This data exists today in one form or another, but can be tremendously difficult to stitch together at an individual level. Blockchain can enable ‘profile stitching’, and do so in such a way that the patient’s identity is protected.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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