Blockchain Network For Healthcare Industry Planned By IBM, PNC Bank And Healthcare Giants

Blockchain, News | January 25, 2019 By:

Tech giant IBM is collaborating PNC Bank and three healthcare companies to build a blockchain network to improve transparency and interoperability in the healthcare industry.

Aetna, a CVS Health business, health plan provider Anthem and health insurance provider Health Care Service Corporation will be working with IBM and PNC Bank to create an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a highly secure, shared environment. The network will be designed to enable healthcare companies to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation in the industry.

The companies will focus on using blockchain to address a range of industry challenges. These inlcude promoting efficient claims and payment processing, to enable secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and to maintain current and accurate provider directories.

“Blockchain’s unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled, and transparent way,” said Lori Steele, general manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM. “The fact that these major healthcare players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the healthcare system and ultimately improve the patient experience.”

Rajeev Ronanki, Chief Digital Officer of Anthem, said that they decided to join this initiative because after recognizing the importance of driving change that will simplify the healthcare system for all Americans.

“We view blockchain as an enabler for establishing trust,” Ronanki said. “Timely access to medical information has been a stumbling block for creating a seamless consumer experience. With a trusted foundation based on transparency and cryptography, we will provide a faster, safer and more secure way to exchange medical information to transform the consumer healthcare experience.”

According to the official release, blockchain could reduce administrative errors and friction, which means healthcare information could be exchanged more efficiently. It could also help enhance patient care and reduce unnecessary costs.

“We are committed to improving the healthcare consumer experience and making our healthcare system work more effectively,” said Claus Jensen, chief technology officer at Aetna, a CVS Health business. “Through the application of blockchain technology, we’ll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data.”

The companies said that they are actively working to further define the initial use cases for the health utility network. They also intend to add more members in the coming months, including other health organizations, healthcare providers, startups, and technology companies.