Nowadays, just like everything else, the health care industry has also been reaping the benefits of technology. Up until the creation of blockchain platforms providing access to distributed ledgers, records of patients have been stored on individual databases of hospitals, which if you were to switch to another would raise a number of problems for the patients due to the existence of non-uniform systems. In addition to that, most of them are outdated. According to John Hopkins University researchers, the medical error is now the third leading cause of death, preceded by heart disease and cancer. This is a result of miscommunication of information between the doctor and their patient, or between two distinctly referred doctors. The electronic health records stored on centralized databases are vulnerable to threats such as hacking, and it is highly prioritized to safeguard the systems. The records if poorly secured are prone to tampering and can lead to monetary as well as health losses. The non-negligible amount of Insurance fraud being conducted can be also attributed to these weakly guarded systems, which was estimated to be more than $40 billion per year. In times like these, it had become essential to consider the possible deployment of blockchain technology in order to store the medical records of patients on a tamper proof distributed ledger and that is exactly why Medical Chain was created.
Medical Chain is a blockchain based platform that can used by individuals to store their medical data. This information can then be shared with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies or the insurance companies only if allowed by the user. This platform intends to make the health records of patients digitized and make them transparent by using the decentralized technology. Medical chain is built on a permission-based architecture, which allows the users to control the amount of information that can be viewed by other agents. It also aims to provide other services in the future that include a mobile application that will enable patients to consult their doctors remotely, and a marketplace where users can leverage their records to researchers who might use that information to conduct a medical analysis.
The team of Medical chain is an amalgam of clinicians, engineers and developers belonging to different parts of the world. The CEO and co-founder of Medicalchain Dr. Abdullah Albeyatti came up with the idea of storing patient records digitally while he was working at the UK National Health Service. Mo Tayeb the co-founder and chief Operation officer, a graduate of Brunel University and Said Business School, previously was the Head of Department in an insurance company as well as an advisor to many startups. Mo has experience in granting his counsel to the technology sector involving development of mobile applications. The advisors to this startup are Dr. Ivan Guevara, a senior corporate lawyer, and Eddy Travia, an avid investor in blockchain projects such as this one and the CEO of Coinsilium. Albeyatti mentioned in the whitepaper,
The Medicalchain team have the drive and commitment to improve healthcare for those who need it most – the patients. We enact this mission by empowering patients with the tools to engage in a more comprehensive healthcare experience, such as accessing their own records on their mobile device, or conducting a consultation via webcam with a doctor anywhere in the world, and by doing so, we can improve people’s lives. Our mission is to improve care for people by placing the patient at the center of the digital transformation of healthcare.
In the current environment, records of patients are distributed over several networks, making it harder for the clinicians to diagnose their patients. Medicalchain provides the benefit of accumulating the history of records of users and arranges them in a chronological order, so they can be accessed and referred to with ease.
Medicalchain is based on Ethereum blockchain that incorporates a double encryption mechanism, is tamper proof and secure. In order to acquire any patients medical record, permission needs to granted by the user to these agents that require the information.
There are already a number of companies that have delved into this particular field and innovated multiple platforms that are devoted to taking medical care of their users. Medicalchain will bring these platforms further together in order to introduce transparency and flexibility and promote interoperability between the said platforms.
Medicalchain is designed to cut the funds accumulated by insurance companies from providing unnecessary premium services. People have been paying hefty amounts to insurance companies for services they might not require at all. In addition, the maintenance of medical tests which cost a lot, is facilitated by putting them on the distributed network. The paperwork can be lost, requiring the patient to spend hundreds on tests, but the record stored on DLT network is untouchable, safe from tampering and stored in a chronological order for the clinicians to consult.
Medicalchain’s development began in 2016, since then it has come a long way. It has formed alliances with many educational institutions including some renowned hospitals as well. Medicalchain was showcased at FT Digital Health Summit in New York. It was nominated in the top 10 in Europe for Accenture health tech Challenge as well as in top 20 in the world for H-farm Health Accelerator Competition. Earlier this year, both doctors and patients were enrolled for the Telemedicine program. In the future, Medicalchain aims to be deployed across the globe in various countries and plans to incorporate blockchain in the wearable health monitors as well. However, the entire platform will not be fully functional until the first quarter of 2019.
Initial Coin Offering
A total of 500 million MedTokens were generated initially. The MedToken is based on Ethereum technology and are the ERC20 tokens. Its ICO started on 1 Feb 2018 and ended on the same day. The ICO sale capped at $24 million.
Briefly, the healthcare institutions have been facing many setbacks due lack of transparency and they have costed hundreds of lives. The health records provided by medical professionals are not accessible to patients. Insurance companies are defrauded and only provided data, which is a mandatory requirement. Researchers are provided data only from anonymous sources that could cost them a lot of time and money. Medicalchain is the blockchain based solution to all these problems and it has set an important precedent for all the forthcoming reforms in data science and its incorporation in the medical area for maintaining large amount of records.