Taipei Medical University Hospital Launches Blockchain Platform For Record Keepingbr>
The Taipei Medical University Hospital (TMUH) has introduced a new blockchain platform designed to improve medical record-keeping.
In a statement, TMUH said that the Healthcare Blockchain Platform was developed as a one-stop referral and long-term care service in support of Taiwan’s Hierarchical Medical System policy. It will be used to improve patient referral services and integrates individual healthcare networks for people to access their medical records with relative ease.
The hospital said over 100 community-based clinics tested the platform to address “common pain points” in healthcare, including the physician referral process, transfer of data between medical institutions and personal patient portals. It added that through the platform, patients can access “a complete set of all their medical records, including high-resolution medical images, lab results, and clinical and health exam information,” while hospitals and clinics can request, authorize and share patients’ records using smart contracts.
Chang Shy-shin, head of TMUH’s Department of Preventive and Community Medicine, said that at present, nurses at referral counters assist people seeking referrals. He said the platform allows people to log in to a password-protected mobile app to make such requests.
TMUH superintendent Chen Ray-jade said that blockchain not only synchronize electronic medical records with electronic health records from various clinics and hospitals, it also incorporates the additional security feature of notification and consent before any transfer takes place.
“The technology would minimize the risk of security breaches, thanks to the decentralized nature of blockchains,” Chen said. “Moreover, people will no longer have to go through a tedious process for inter-hospital transfers.”
Healthcare organizations worldwide have been exploring blockchain as they believe blockchain would play an integral role in healthcare improvement. In Hyperledger’s survey published earlier this year, 42.9 percent of healthcare organizations said that the interoperability of electronic health records will help for faster blockchain implementation.