Health News

Ant’s Alipay launches online drug prescription blockchain

prescription drugs

Ant Financial and Shanghai-based Huashan Hospital have launched the first blockchain-based drug prescription service in China.

Sometimes patients manage to use a prescription multiple times when they should not do so without seeing a doctor.

According to, patients can use the Alipay App to access the records of the entire prescription process, which includes filing the prescription, dispensing the medication and delivery.

How does it work?

When a prescription drug is issued, it is marked with a stamp or QR code. As the drug makes its way through the prescription process, the stamp is scanned. This uploads information onto the blockchain about where the drug has been and for how long.

This means that the patient can be sure that the drug has gone through the prescription process without being tampered with and in good time.

Also once the prescription is used, it cannot be used to dispense a drug again. Plus the patient identity is linked to Alipay.

Initially, the service will only be available in the endocrinology department. However, a successful pilot will see the service adopted hospital-wide.

Because Huashan is a popular hospital, it’s hard to get an appointment as the chronically ill need to visit every 7-14 days to get repeat prescriptions. In the future, the plan is to have some patients see a doctor using telemedicine. And then they can issue prescriptions utilizing this blockchain initiative. That would free up more resources for consultations at the hospital.

Huashan Hospital, one of China’s top three hospitals, seems to be at the forefront of China’s “smart hospital” initiatives. It launched the nation’s first credit medical service in 2017, where users with a high enough credit rating can see doctors without queuing to pay. Instead, after each examination, the payment is deducted directly from their credit account.

Ant Financial is leading the race for blockchain patents. That’s according to the incoPat Innovation Index Research Center’s 2017 global blockchain enterprise patent list.

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