In an industry as complex and cost-ridden as healthcare, disruption is imminent. In its present state, the healthcare industry loses billions of dollars to data breaches, counterfeit drugs, insurance fraud, and prolonged clinical trials. Blockchain technology, which promises traceability, transparency, and security, could be a game-changer. And many companies are betting on it to transform the healthcare industry for the better. Here’s a look at some of the most innovative companies working in the blockchain healthcare space.
Who they are: Change Healthcare provides analytics, software, networking solutions using AI and blockchain. It is about to go public with an IPO of $200 million.
Headquarters: Tennessee, USA
Focus areas: Electronic health records, Smart contracts, key sharing
Notable work: Change Healthcare and Experian Health are teaming up to solve patient identification and duplication challenges. This solution will leverage Change Healthcare’s Intelligent Healthcare Network and Experian Health’s robust identity management capabilities, to identify patients and match records within and across healthcare organizations
Change Healthcare is working towards providing blockchain solutions through the execution of smart contracts. They are working on sidechains (a blockchain that validates data from other blockchains) to process private or semi-private smart contracts between sellers and buyers. In addition, the firm has shown interest in private cryptographic key portioning, sharing, and distribution on the blockchain.
Who they are: It is the only start-up to provide enterprise blockchain solutions at scale. The company provides Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a platform designed to ensure the integrity of systems, network and data, at an industrial scale, enabling data owners to deliver independent verification for the integrity of a data.
Headquarters: Tallinn, Estonia
Focus areas: Healthcare Data Exchange and Interoperability, Claims Adjunction and Billing Management, Patient-controlled access to data and trial recruitment, Pull data from multiple sources to provide one portal for patients
Notable work: Guardtime, in partnership with industry players like Instant Access Medical and Healthcare Gateway, launched the world’s first comprehensive BC-supported personal care record platform, MyPCR.
It is the only company that provides solutions in the regulatory compliance space. It is bridging the gap between patients, providers, payers, regulators, and pharmaceuticals by seamlessly transporting data across multiple healthcare stakeholders, delivering truthful versions of health data, with its multiple products.
Related reading: How blockchain is transforming the future of data-centric healthcare
Who they are: TraceLink is a leading SaaS solution provider in the healthcare and life sciences industry. TraceLink’s Life Sciences Cloud, which provides track and trace solutions for the healthcare industry is now used by more than 1100 customers while maintaining regulatory compliance in each country.
Headquarters: Massachusetts, USA
Focus areas: Developing solutions to trace counterfeit drugs
Notable work: TraceLink Inc. announced Smart Inventory Tracker, a cloud-based end-to-end warehouse compliance solution that is offered within its integrated digital supply network.
The solutions developed by TraceLink, if approved, will leverage data serialization and help in connected application areas, such as supplier collaboration, patient communities, personalized medicine, predictive care, and gene therapies.
It will help 270,000 pharmaceutical companies, CMOs, wholesale distributors, 3PLs, parallel importers, re-packagers, hospitals and pharmacies and 930 direct customers across the world, which are already on its network.
Who they are: Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 company, offers management consulting and professional services. Its areas of expertise include operations, consulting, strategy, and digital technology.
Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
Focus areas: Digital Identity, HIPAA compliance, Claims Adjunction and Billing Management
Notable work: Accenture is working towards providing blockchain solutions in maintaining healthcare records along with HIPAA compliance, providing a digital identity via biometric verification and managing, transactions relating to claims adjunction and billing.
The company is developing and operating Professional Credentials Exchange in partnership with Hashed Health, to share the credentials of potential employees, between healthcare entities. It has a strong reach and has a dominant presence in the U.S. market, followed by Europe and Australia. Having a total of 39 patents in BC in Healthcare, Accenture is creating a strong portfolio across the globe with its patenting strategy.
Who they are: Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers. It produces computing devices like motherboards, chipsets, integrated circuits, graphics chips, flash memories, and embedded processors along with communication devices like network interface controllers.
Headquarters: California, USA
Focus areas: Healthcare Data Exchange and Interoperability, Device Maintenance Records, Transaction Management, Key sharing
Notable work: Intel is working towards providing blockchain solutions to manage data sharing across healthcare institutions, and IoT device data management. They are relying on executing smart contracts for interoperability and for performing transactions. Intel is further working on key sharing, wherein the private key allows access to the blockchain, which is used as a data repository for sensitive healthcare information.
Pokitdok, a healthcare consortium, uses Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth to ensure the privacy of medical records. The solution leverages hardware-based security technologies
Who they are: SAP is an analytics and business intelligence company providing solutions with tools such as cloud, machine learning, IoT, and recently, blockchain. Its services vary across energy and natural resources, financial services, consumer industries, discrete industries, service industries, and public services.
Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany
Focus areas: Counterfeit Drug Prevention and Detection, Healthcare Data Exchange and Interoperability, Claims Adjunction and Billing Management
Notable work: SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences complies with requirements set by the DSCSA for sellable returns of drugs. It tackles problems such as reselling of counterfeit or stolen medications and allows wholesalers to authenticate returned drugs. Around 350 companies were linked to the Collaboration Hub at the end of 2018. A mobile application can decode the barcode, create a hash of the barcode content, and verify the existence of that exact hash on the blockchain.
SAP is also working towards providing blockchain solutions in healthcare records management, while simultaneously developing capabilities in bills and claims management.
Who they are: Microsoft is a company that sells software and licenses and supports consumer electronics, personal computers, and services relating to it. Microsoft’s revenue is generated primarily from PC operating system, Microsoft Windows.
Headquarters: Washington, USA
Focus areas: Healthcare Data Exchange and Interoperability, Device Maintenance Records, Smart Contracts
Notable work: Accenture and Microsoft built a blockchain ID prototype for healthcare with the aim of creating digital identities for 1.1 Bn people who do not have a formal ID.
It has unveiled an open-source COCO blockchain framework for enterprise-class blockchain networks. In healthcare, this will facilitate new ways of making EHRs interoperable between different software systems
Microsoft along with its partners Takeda and EURORDIS has formed Global Commission to end the “diagnostic odyssey” for children with rare diseases. A blockchain-based patient registry, which stores health data is among the three technologies launched under this project.
Microsoft is working towards providing blockchain solutions in medical records, medication, and treatment adherence, while developing capabilities in smart contracts (cryptlets) and maintenance of device records using IoT. For further data security, Microsoft saves an event hash on the blockchain without saving the actual event details, which are saved off-chain.
Who they are: Oracle earns revenue by developing and marketing its cloud engineering systems, enterprise software products, and software technology — especially its own brands of data management systems.
Headquarters: California, USA
Focus areas: Counterfeit Drug Prevention and Detection, Electronic Health Records, Audit Trails
Notable work: In its first attempt to enter blockchain healthcare, Oracle developed HealthSync Platform to power more intelligent healthcare systems. In 2019, Oracle partnered with NITI Aayog (a Government of India initiative) to fight fake drugs in India using blockchain, by bringing efficiencies to the supply chain.
Oracle is working towards providing blockchain solutions for the management of medical records. It is also working on further solutions for managing process pipelines, wherein the job information is tracked across the pipeline by adding it to the blockchain at the end of every execution.
Who they are: IBM is a cognitive solutions company which also provides a cloud platform. With Watson, the AI platform for business, powered by data, IBM is building industry-based solutions to real-world problems. IBM has 12 labs in which it has 3,000 researchers located across six continents, working to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems
Headquarters: New York, USA
Focus areas: Electronic Health Records, Audit Trails
Notable work: IBM blockchain solutions range across various healthcare applications, including:
- Serialization for R&D post analysis management, wherein a post-analysis block is linked to a previous block of the same study
- A process for validating and authenticating data transaction in a supply chain blockchain
- Apart from asset tracking, IBM has a novel solution to check package tampering, wherein packing element orientation is recorded and compared from the blockchain
- Other general blockchain solutions include smart contracts, device tracking (usage throughout its cycle), match-cohorts in data exchange, billing (tags on disaster relief drones linked to smart contracts over blockchain), digital identity (to track asset ownership), proof-of-medication and eConsents (patients’ consent forms are stored over the blockchain)
- Other unique solutions include pathogen exposure and risk assessment to create insurance strategies
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