Blockchain: Healthcare has 'most aggressive deployment plans of any industry'

Dive Brief:

  • A new Deloitte report shows 35% of surveyed healthcare and life sciences organizations plan to deploy blockchain technology in the coming year, outpacing blockchain adoption in other industries.
  • Out of the 308 participants in the survey, 21% of the blockchain-savvy top-level executives across a range of industries said their companies are already using blockchain, and 25% said they will do so in 2017.
  • Among execs with blockchain knowledge, 55% said their company’s competitiveness would be hurt if they failed to adopt blockchain.

Dive Insight:

Deployment of blockchain is still uneven, the survey showed, with 39% of respondents claiming little or no knowledge about the technology. Yet interest in blockchain among healthcare organizations as a way to improve interoperability has been heating up. Based on the concept of bitcoin, blockchain creates a common language for companies or other organizations to share information and data.

“It’s going to be the architecture of the underlying data layer that unites all of the disparate services of the healthcare industry into one interoperable system—all the way from tracking data from fitness devices and general wellness metrics, to treatment at medical providers, to prescriptions, all the way through to medical claims adjudication,” Micah Winkelspecht, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Gem, told Healthcare Dive earlier this year.

Recognizing its promise, HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology launched a challenge in July to use blockchain to solve privacy, security and scalability issues in electronic health records. Fifteen winners — including Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and Mayo Clinic — were announced in September.

Filed Under: Health IT