Health News

Science Foundation funds SimplyVital for HIPAA blockchain protocol

healthcare medical patient

Today, blockchain health firm SimplyVital announced it has received a $225,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for its protocol Nexus. The award, from the NSF’s Small Business Technology Transfer fund, will go towards developing Nexus to work with the Graphene protocol.

SimplyVital’s product, ConnectingCare, uses blockchain to store immutable audit trails of patient history so that healthcare providers can access it easily. Nexus is the protocol used to ensure the data is trusted, and does so in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

This is what attracted the NSF to the firm. The organization’s Andrea Belz said: “NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by funding the most creative, impactful ideas. With our support, deep technology startups can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

The use of Nexus in ConnectingCare creates a trusted and secure database, which, unlike conventional silos, allows for efficient use. Now, the NSF has funded the firm to research extending Nexus to operate with the Graphene protocol, a method for block transmission. It was developed by academics at UMass Amherst in 2017 and claims to be ten times more efficient than other protocols.

Kat Kuzmeskas, the CEO of SimplyVital, said: “This grant is transformative and endorses blockchain as a viable tool to re-engineer healthcare. We are thrilled to represent the NSF with our blockchain work.”

The firm previously won a Newsweek blockchain impact award for ConnectingCare. But they are far from the only company using blockchain for health. One of the most high profile is MediLedger, which launched this year and focuses on the pharmaceutical supply chain.

More similar to SimplyVital’s work, startup Embleema partnered with the Gustave Roussy Institut for a blockchain health data network. Last month, Chinese giant Baidu launched its medical records database on XuperChain. A Taiwanese hospital began using ‘smart health passports’ based on blockchain last year.

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