Enhancing healthcare information sharing with blockchain technology

Tod D. Yates


Blockchain, the foundation of many cryptocurrencies, also can be useful for many other industries such as healthcare. Blockchain can enforce immutability and non-repudiation for information stored on it. Although some say the technology is not yet mature enough, others are putting blockchain to the test with programs and pilots. Examining these efforts and dissecting the detail allows us to look at blockchain’s qualities and pitfalls to allow data sharing efforts with medical records.

It is widely agreed that sharing medical data outside of the silos where it is captured or created will benefit the individual’s care and outcomes. Regulation and personal humility often stand in the way of this sharing. Blockchain is offering new and novel ways to share data properly and securely with only the providers or researchers who are supposed to receive it. Blockchain is also allowing the patient to take control of their health data and in some cases, even profit from it. This is the concept behind a proposal by the author to allow a patient to share all or part of their data for research and to be justly compensated for that sharing.


Blockchain; medical data; health data; data sharing; data silos

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23954/osj.v5i2.2400


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