Yesterday Baidu, known as China’s biggest search engine, launched its blockchain medical solution. The aim is to promote the secure sharing and distribution of medical data.
Currently, data sharing in the medical field is prone to leakages and inefficiencies. If a doctor doesn’t have full access to medical histories, there’s a risk of making the wrong decision. Additionally, existing processes run the risk of violating privacy rights. And China shares the same issue with the US, where the administrative cost of processing insurance claims is high.
By leveraging blockchain technology, Baidu hopes to tackle the inefficiencies associated with the current system. Recent estimates indicate the cost of the Chinese health system will amount to 10 trillion renminbi ($1.4 trillion) in 2020.
The blockchain solution will store health records, including diagnoses, treatments and prescriptions, on Baidu’s own open-source blockchain platform, XuperChain. The idea is to provide a single store of not just medical data but also to process insurance claims.
The project will initially focus on collaborating with the government of the Yuzhong District of Chongqing, a city that’s home to over 30 million people. This first phase has been dubbed the “Chongqing Model”.
In future, Baidu aims to roll out its blockchain system across the rest of the country, thereby ensuring the efficient sharing of health data.
Initially, the project will focus on e-prescriptions to combat the lack of communication between hospitals and pharmacies. Both currently rely on different systems, which can result in lengthy waiting times for patients in hospitals.
Baidu’s blockchain will record the doctor’s initial prescription, as well as drug delivery and collection information. Hence, the whole process for the patient will be streamlined. So instead of having to collect a prescription and the drugs, doctors can fulfil e-prescriptions remotely for collection at a nearby pharmacy. Ant’s Alipay launched a similar solution almost a year ago.
The credibility of the Baidu blockchain hangs on its official partners, which host the blockchain’s nodes. These include the Beijing and Guangzhou Internet Courts, the Arbitration Commission and the Copyright Bureau.
Earlier this year, Baidu unveiled its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform, the Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE). As well as XuperChain, BBE supports Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. All three support Ethereum’s Solidity smart contracts.
BBE has been applied to the transport of hazardous chemicals by tracking and sharing HGV information such as the route taken and vehicle speed. Last year, Baidu launched PIC-CHAIN, a photography copyright protection blockchain.