This piece is part of a collaboration with MLG Blockchain Consulting, a leading global blockchain development and consulting firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with a distributed team across North America, Europe and Asia that is focused on building next generation applications using blockchain and smart contract technology. Emie-Claude Lamoureux PR Director at MLG Blockchain Consulting writes about a startup harnessing blockchain’s potential to create a health system that is patient controlled, and which ensures that the best possible care is delivered to patients.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed your medical records, such as vaccination records, but just couldn’t find them? You’re not alone.
I recently went on a trip to Kenya, and while I knew that had received my Yellow Fever immunization in 2016, I could not find my yellow booklet that held my proof of vaccination. When you think about it, 2016 is really not “that far back”. Why is it that even in the era of the Internet I can’t access my own medical records?
Again, I was astonished to be deprived from having access to my own proof of vaccination.
Let’s take a moment to think about how common it is for people to lose their vaccination records, or other important medical records, and how retrieving them is the equivalent of searching for a needle in a haystack. We know it’s extremely exhausting for us, but the time, effort, and money spent attempting to pull up our own medical history is also taxing the physicians and the administrative staff in hospitals. There is a complete lack of productive data exchange in the healthcare system.
I think I can safely speak for all patients when I say we want access to our own medical records, without having to go through the enormous hassle of contacting each doctor I’ve ever seen. And I’d like to discuss a possible solution.
Blockchain technology offers the structure required to make this a reality, and Coral Health is harnessing blockchain’s potential to create a completely secure, integrated health system that is patient controlled, and which ensures that the best possible care is delivered to patients. Thankfully, zero blockchain knowledge is required to realize the benefits of this upcoming platform.
An integrated health system that works for patients
Today healthcare stakeholders such as providers, insurers and laboratories each store patient data in disparate databases that are siloed from each either. Even transferring medical information within the same organization is often difficult. This prevents the patient from accessing their information and it prevents their information from being used efficiently to coordinate care and lower costs.
An integrated health system will combine these medical records from all those different silos into one convenient place where the patient can access and control it. Just this, is a huge leap. Patients will be able to circumvent the man-made disaster of endless paperwork when changing providers through the integrated health system. It will also mean that authorized insurance providers will be able to approve treatments in real-time since they too will have immediate access to records uploaded by patients and physicians.
Using the blockchain technology and smart contracts, data will be encrypted and will only be shared with parties who have been authorized by the patient to receive the data. All data will be uploaded in real-time to the blockchain’s immutable ledger, which will ensure that past and current records are never lost or altered. With their integrated health system, Coral Health aims to improve care for patients while easing physicians’ administrative workload so that both parties can have more time to work on things that actually matter.
Easy medical record retrieval
Another important point to highlight is that physicians will be able to make streamlined decisions based on a comprehensive and accurate patient record. Astonishingly, some physicians and medical professionals that work in the same hospital do not have identical patient medical records due to inconsistencies in data exchange.
With Coral Health’s blockchain platform, all changes made by physicians across departments and even different hospitals will be automatically uploaded to the blockchain’s immutable ledger, ensuring that each doctor has access to the same information about each patient.
Simple medical record transfer
Besides recently traveling to Kenya, I’m also a Canadian that has moved a lot in my country. Here’s the main point: moving medical information from one physician to another is extremely slow. This inefficient system of information transferral of medical records inhibits physicians from providing the highest level of care.
As mentioned above, Coral Health’s integrated health system will enable patients to give permission for physicians to access to their records. In other words, we will have ownership of our own medical data.
A modern healthcare system
For years we’ve been relying on a system that does not work for us, but against us.
The switch to this new healthcare system will be revolutionary. For too long there’s been major information gaps in healthcare preventing patients from getting the care and assistance they need.
By leveraging blockchain technology, Coral Health is creating an integrated health system that will work for both patients and for doctors. With this system, our comprehensive health records will be easily accessible at all times and patients will finally be able to share, transfer and retrieve information from their records in real-time.