Mount Sinai Health System is looking to take a lead role in finding ways that healthcare can use emerging blockchain solutions.
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region.
The health system has launched the Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research to solve healthcare challenges using technology that underlies the bitcoin cryptocurrency and provides a data structure that can be timed-stamped and signed using a private key.
The center will work toward developing health care blockchain applications by:
- Conducting scholarly evaluations of blockchain-enabled solutions;
- Providing partnership and consulting opportunities with companies working on these projects;
- Building and testing its own systems within the Mount Sinai Health System.
The Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research (CBB) will be headed by Joel Dudley, executive vice president of precision health at Mount Sinai and director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare and Noah Zimmerman, assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences and director of the Health Data and Design Innovation Center.
“We’re very early in the blockchain hype cycle and there are a lot of promises being made about how it will save healthcare,” says Zimmerman. “Fundamentally, for us, blockchain is about building large-scale open networks and incentivizing people to participate in them. That’s what really excites us.”
Numerous companies are already exploring the use of blockchain technologies in biology and health care. These applications include encouraging individual participation in drug development and clinical research trials, expanding access to health insurance products in undeserved markets, improving quality control in the pharmaceutical industry to reduce counterfeit drugs and enhancing research productivity.
Earlier this month, New York-based Embleema emerged from stealth mode with plans to launch a beta version of its technology and $670,000 of a $1 million round of seed funding that it plans to raise this year.
Embleema, based in New York, launched a beta version of its personal health records blockchain and app, built on the smart-contract platform Ethereum.
The company said that its goal is to solve challenges associated with collecting and safely sharing real world evidence, restoring precision and transparency in the healthcare and clinical trials industries by allowing patients to consolidate, own and share data with healthcare stakeholders and be compensated through cryptocurrency for doing so.
The global market for blockchain in healthcare is expected to reach $5.61 billion by 2025, according to a report released by ReportBuyer, the global blockchain in the healthcare market is expected grow at a CAGR of 63.85% from 2018 to 2025, to reach a value of $5.61 billion by 2025. The use of blockchain for healthcare data exchange will contribute the largest market share throughout the forecast period, reaching a value of $1.89 billion by 2025, owing to the use of blockchain to solve the most widespread problem in healthcare information systems related to interoperability and non-standardization that has created data silos in the industry.
The market for blockchain in health insurance is expected to witness the fastest growth rate across applications, with a CAGR of 70.2%. This growth can be attributed to the use of blockchain to reduce IT and operational costs in insurance process and to reduce healthcare related frauds that cost the healthcare market billions of dollars each year.
Cryptocurrency is all set to take the world by storm, revolutionizing all sectors of life, including health care. What’s left is to see how soon will health sector respond to the call of this modern currency.