Five healthcare firms are planning to join forces for a pilot project that will use blockchain technology to improve the accuracy of healthcare provider data and reduce the costs associated with keeping that information up to date.
On April 2, Humana, MultiPlan, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group's Optum, and UnitedHealthcare announced their intention to launch the trial, which aims to explore an alternative to the current data storage system.
Today, a variety of healthcare entities each maintain their own copies of healthcare provider data, and reconciling the different versions of these records can be a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive process. According to the joint press release, attempts to harmonize records currently cost the healthcare industry some $2.1 billion per year.
By contrast, this project proposes a system that would share newly-created data with multiple parties by recording them to a blockchain.
The participating companies hope the pilot will lead to solutions that will improve patients' "access to care" in addition to saving healthcare providers money and equipping them with the most current and accurate data available.