On June 18, it was announced that London-based blockchain company Medicalchain signed a joint working agreement with American medical center Mayo Clinic.
Medicalchain uses blockchain technology to safely store electronic health records, and uses the platform to create a "single source of truth that can easily and securely be accessed, updated and shared."
The collaboration is meant to explore how blockchain and other types of distributed ledger technology can benefit the medical industry, focusing on medical record storage.
Medicalchain CEO Dr. Abdullah Albeyatti voiced his excitement over the collaboration, saying:
"Mayo Clinic will provide healthcare and health IT expertise, while Medicalchain will provide our knowledge of blockchain and crypto ... Together we will work on several use cases for blockchain-based electronic health records. There's a lot of opportunity out there, and we feel this working agreement will be of benefit to all healthcare stakeholders."
Medicalchain claims that hospitals and health systems will benefit from the technology's ability to increase communication speed and reliability, increase security, and fix data fragmentation, as well as provide patients and clients with a way to access and share their medical records.
In a blog post earlier this week, Dr. Eric Funk, an emergency medicine resident at Mayo Clinic, listed additional use cases for blockchain technology in the healthcare field:
"Using blockchains to improve education is the logical next step. It has traditionally been very difficult for clinical educators to get credit for their work, especially compared to their peers who focus primarily on research output. Recording this information in the blockchain will easily allow educators to track their impact as their students ultimately become educators themselves, and pass along their knowledge to each subsequent class of students. It will also allow for easy tracking of the most utilized and most effective learning modules."
The medical industry has been looking to blockchain technology to improve security and patient service for a few years now. In October of 2016, ETHNews published a report on how the technology has the potential to completely revolutionize every aspect of the healthcare industry. In March 2017, it was reported that Google developed a blockchain platform to store and track medical data in clinical trials, and in April of this year, healthcare provider Humana partnered with other healthcare firms to pilot a blockchain platform used to share medical data.