Health News

State of Utah implements blockchain solution for medical record sharing

electronic medical records health

On 14 September 2020, software and solutions firm HHS Technology (HHS)  announced its partnership with Utah State to create and implement a blockchain-based solution to help share data amongst patients and healthcare professionals. 

COVID-19 has highlighted certain healthcare challenges, for example, the inability to access health records. HHS’ MediBook, positioned by the company as a ‘crisis management electronic health record,’ aims to provide frontline health care professionals access to patient records in a secure,and immutable manner. This allows them to quickly review a new patient’s medical records, who may have underlying health conditions the professionals must consider during treatment. 

MediBook enables the managing and sharing of patient records across disparate systems, all per federal data-sharing laws. For example, new regulations require health insurers to allow access to patient-approved third-party applications, enabling patients to retrieve their own information, such as lab results and adjudicated claims. The data is accessible through a blockchain-based digital wallet, which allows for 24/7 access while maintaining the data’s integrity and security. 

HHS highlights the fact their solution can be used in the event of other natural disasters. Because patients can access their health records securely they can take them with them and easily share them with hospitals or practicioners. This would be very effective if healthcare professionals come from out-of-state to help with natural disasters, and where time is of the essence. Former Director of Health and Human Services for Michigan State, Nick Lyon agrees with using the newest technology in crises: “States are looking for innovative ways to leverage information technology to help cities, counties and residents better respond to natural disasters and crises such as COVID-19.”

Elsewhere in the U.S., Florida’s largest pediatric health care provider, Angel Kids Pediatrics, recently implemented a blockchain-based healthtech platform that helps manage COVID-19 testing. Medical Director Dr. Ashraf Affan also commented that “one of the best ways to help contain this pandemic is through the timely sharing of knowledge and focusing on prevention.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which took over control of COVID-19 reporting by Center of Disease Control hospitals a few months ago, is also using a blockchain-based platform.