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Healthcare is ready for Blockchain: Warning, Patience Required

by John Moore III | May 03, 2018

New Chilmark Research report examines opportunities and challenges for blockchain technology in healthcare

BOSTON, MA, May 3, 2018 – In healthcare, clinical and payment data remains siloed, with processes for sharing between stakeholders fraught with distrust and technical obstacles. The friction between stakeholders makes providing – or accessing – quality, timely, affordable healthcare increasingly difficult, and drives up administrative overhead and costs.

In a new report, Blockchain: Opportunities and Challenges in Healthcare, Chilmark Research details the ways blockchain technologies will enable transformation in how the healthcare industry records, stores, and shares information. In particular, blockchain allows for integrated, decentralized databases to enable transactions without mediation by a third party. Additionally, blockchain facilitates better data quality through more granular identity management, immutability, and proof of provenance.

Healthcare will benefit from early blockchain work in the finance industry and leverage blockchain applications for supply chains, finance and benefits management, and a few applications based on identity management. However, it will likely take a decade or more before blockchain solutions in the health records (both EHR and PHR) space become mainstream. We need to view blockchain as an infrastructural transformation – and these shifts always take time to achieve critical adoption levels.

– Report author, Dr. Jody Ranck.

The report features an overview of blockchain technology through the lens of applications in healthcare. While more immediate applications are explored more in-depth, a trajectory of blockchain adoption and evolution is also provided. Blockchain vendor solutions ready for market in 2018 are profiled primarily around their use cases and customer types, plus a few blockchain-alternatives are briefly contrasted to blockchain possibilities. The report concludes with an analysis of potential obstacles and ways to avoid them.

With so many diverse applications for blockchain technology and widespread change in processes, including claims adjudication, care coordination, patient data access, and supply-chain management, this report would be of interest to a diverse set of stakeholders. Coming changes to applications for both clinical and administrative data processes are applicable to providers (big and small) and payers. Vendors addressing these applications would also benefit, particularly vendors handling patient health data. Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry, government regulators and administrators, patient privacy advocates, consultants, and investors would also benefit from an overview of how the health data landscape will evolve over the next decade as this technology becomes more mainstream – and how to prepare for challenges this transition will present.

Blockchain, combined with AI, the cloud, and other emerging technologies will enable a foundational shift in how we record, share, and use data in healthcare delivery and administration. Understanding blockchain’s role and capabilities will be a key in making critical decisions to stay ahead of the transformation curve.

This report includes profiles of current companies that are making inroads in healthcare with their blockchain application(s) and services: Accenture, Change Healthcare, Deloitte Rubix, Factom, IBM (Hyperledger), MedRec, PokitDok, Simply Vital Health, SolveCare, and T Systems. Chilmark Research will be hosting a webinar about blockchain in healthcare on May 10 at 3pm ET to accompany this report. The webinar will feature the report author, Dr. Jody Ranck, with special guests Vince Kuraitis and Dr. John Halamka.


About Chilmark Research:

Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the most transformational trends in healthcare IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary. For more information visit: www.chilmarkresearch.com/

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