Blockchain in healthcare updates
Professional Credentials Exchange, or ProCredEx, has developed a marketplace that leverages blockchain technology to enable healthcare organizations to share, exchange, and monetize their credentials. Following successful work in Texas they have raised $3.5m and is launching a state-wide pilot in Michigan, where their lead investor, Spectrum Health Ventures, is based. This regional based approach makes sense, a health system in Michigan is much more likely to want credentialing information from another Michigan based health system rather than, say, an Alaskan health system. It also suggests strong network effects with credentialing networks: if everyone is on a single credentialing network you have a strong incentive to join as well.
One thing that interests me about ProCredEx is their offering allows the monetizing of credentials. Not only can health systems buy and reuse credentialing information from others, but they can generate a new revenue stream from selling their own credentialing information. This creates a marketplace where the assets are credentialing information, and is the source of the Exchange in ProCredEx. As far as I know that’s a unique offering of ProCredEx and stands in contrast to other credentialing solutions, which are closer to traditional software-as-a-service products.
Lastly, the press release mentioned a “strong multifaceted partnership with R3” including a license to built ProCredEx on top of the enterprise offering of Corda.
The planned app, which is in early stages, will let patients choose who sees their data and when. This is similar to the work that Anthem has underway. One of the 2020 predictions was that we wouldn’t see a blockchain based EHR, at least one with meaningful adoption, and I stand by that.
Walmart was a participant in the MediLedger FDA DSCSA Pilot, as well as the Pharmaceutical Utility Network. Beyond their role as a pharmacy, Walmart is also a large self-insured employer, and this gives them a unique position to innovate in healthcare.
What I'm reading this weekend
The Baseline Protocol is an open source initiative that combines advances in cryptography, messaging, and blockchain to deliver secure and private business processes at low cost via the public Ethereum Mainnet.
The goal is to enable enterprises to collaborate using the Ethereum Mainnet in a privacy preserving way. This follows EY’s work with Project Nightfall.
Digital Asset Modeling Language (“DAML”) is a smart contracting language developed by Digital Asset that can be deployed on several different platforms, including both Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, and R3’s Corda. The ability to write code once and deploy it on several different blockchain protocols is very appealing.
The ask-me-anything session will be with Daniel Himmelstein, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, and will focus on open science and SciHub.
A gentle reminder to turn your privacy settings on!
Given the rush to create a vaccine for covid-19, at the same time as a push to lower the costs of drugs, I reviewed a few alternative funding mechanisms like the advance market commitment, where donors committed $1.5 billion ahead of time to help purchase pneumococcal vaccine for low-income countries. It’s complicated, but this was considered broadly successful:
While aspects of program evaluation are complicated, the best estimates suggest that the introduction of PCV saved 700,000 lives at a highly favorable cost.
A similar program was proposed here to give a “market entry” award of $1bn for the development of novel antibiotics, while also trying to “ensure that critically needed antibiotics are used sustainably and continue to be accessible.”
A bunch of things I read this week that you might want to check out:
STAT’s article on evidence that suggested coronavirus had been circulating in Washington for weeks and the author of the analysis’ post here
Hong Kong’s coronavirus response leads to sharp drop in flu cases implying social distancing methods work
And a good visualization:
I have seen variants of this graph floating around Twitter a few times now, it originally dates to the Economist but I couldn’t find the source. This helped me visualize the importance of control measures, like washing your hands, working from home, avoiding large gatherings, minimizing travel, etc even if you are not sick. It will take individual action to collectively change the direction of this outbreak.
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