Prescrypt Brings Medical Prescriptions to the Blockchain
The Director of the Dutch-based REshape Center for Innovation Lucien Engelen recently announced a blockchain-based prototype with SNS Bank N.V. and Deloitte. This proof-of-concept, called Prescrypt, is an initiative that makes it easier for people with chronic illnesses to acquire prescriptions that are securely ensured and immutable on a distributed ledger.
Also read: Bitcoin 2016 : ‘There Has Been an Awakening…’
Immutable Prescriptions Held on the Blockchain
The project allows individuals to record and distribute digital property using iDIN technology. IDIN is an online authentication service that connects the blockchain enabling a person a new way to acquire prescribed medications.
The proof-of-concept developed by Engelen offers those who suffer from chronic illnesses up-to-date digital prescriptions and overviews of the drugs. With expert help from Deloitte’s blockchain division, Prescrypt aims to put the individual users in charge of their medications and information as opposed to sharing it with multiple third parties. Engelen details in his post:
“The underlying blockchain makes it possible for these consumers to decide for themselves which healthcare provider to share their information with and which supplier to send their prescription to. By putting the consumer in control of his information, instead of several other parties, there’s always one complete set of information; a massive change compared to the multitude of siloed, often incomplete data sources consumers and healthcare providers face today. This product brings information ownership back to the healthcare consumer.”
Healthcare-related blockchain implementations like Prescrypt cover a wide range of consumer information. Researchers are using Gem, as well as a few other healthcare-focused digital ledgers with clinical trials as well.
Bitcoin.com recently reported on two clinicians John Holden, a General Practitioner, and Greg Irving of the University of Cambridge who devised a concept to make clinical trial documents immutable using the Bitcoin blockchain.
Engelen’s team at REshape Center for Innovation is only concentrating on prescriptions at the moment, with this initial project a long way from completion. Engelen explains:
“PreScrypt is of course in no way a complete product. We’ve built this product in just a couple of days to demonstrate the power of Blockchain technology; to show to everyone that it is technically possible to use Blockchain for healthcare scenarios. In our view this use case is just the first step towards a comprehensive digital health environment consisting of an abundance of far richer applications. Think of ways to streamline the economic activities in healthcare from consumer to insurer to provider, Internet of Things applications that can communicate over the Blockchain, a complete PHR instead of one just focusing on medication etc. We envision that many different providers can build their own applications onto the same infrastructure, each being able to securely communicate with the healthcare consumer’s data and each other. We at REshape will continue to look into this amazing technology and you’ll be hearing more from us soon.”
Blockchain technology mixed together with healthcare seems to be a match made in heaven. With all the transgressions and manipulation in the healthcare industry, such as the recently-uncovered fraud with the Theranos company, projects like Lucien Engelen’s Prescrypt may be the most secure method of data collection.
What do you think about Lucien Engelen’s proof-of-concept? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of REshape, Linkedin and Shutterstock.