Blockchain and healthcare updates
After a pilot a few months ago Samsung SDS is launching their blockchain enabled claims service. It is both a solution for healthcare enterprises and consumers, offering enterprises a purported 70% reduction in the cost of processing claims and faster processing, but also providing consumers an easy (apparently one click!) solution integrated into a popular messaging app. The company provides this to customers of 2 insurers and 2 hospitals today, but has plans to expand to 30 hospitals and 8 insurers by the end of the year.
How exactly Samsung SDS achieves these results is not clear to me. The Coindesk article says that a blockchain is used for the sharing of personal medical information, presumably this means using a blockchain for access management, and not actually posting health data to a blockchain (which is a bad idea!). A reduction in costs by 70% seems high for just improving access management, so I’d speculate that some of that value is being created by a standard digitization process here.
Regardless, this is a space that is heating up. Medibloc, a startup that did an ICO to build out blockchain and health data infrastructure, recently launched their own claims solution call medipass.
The two will test digital credentials for some of Metrohealth’s physician staff. Each time a physician is credentialed a record of this verification process is posted to a blockchain, which allows the physician to point to these records in the future to prove their qualifications, and in turn reducing the costs to onboard new physicians. JP Morgan stated that up to 80% of the current costs and time invested in physician credentialing could be saved this way. This value proposition led me to highlight credentialing in my 2020 predictions.
The first solution in the space, ProCredEx, is a business network with a shared governance model between the members that use their credentialing services. In contrast it seems Axuall, and several other startups in this space, are opting for a model that is more like a traditional software business and doesn’t carry with it the same shared governance and technical solutions as ProCredEx. It’ll be very interesting to see what is successful and how the market reacts to different approaches.
A short piece from a professor at the University of Hong Kong arguing that blockchains should be used in tracking goods and donations in helping fight the coronavirus outbreak in China. As the author notes President Xi did highlight healthcare as an area of interest, perhaps we’ll see these deployments in the coming months.
On a related note: you can get data about the Coronavirus on a blockchain now
They use blockchain tech to notarize payments.
They highlight a wide range of data that will be stored on this platform: health, pharmaceutical government and private facilities, health practitioners, and drug information. My guess is they’re using a blockchain for access management to this data.
A short blog from Hyperledger highlighting
EVENT: Blockchain and Digital Transformation in Health 2020 (February 26th in Austin, Texas)
If you’re looking to hear from industry practitioners and researchers then this blockchain and healthcare event is a great fit. A number of my colleagues and friends in the space will be speakers, and I'd encourage you to check it out.
What I’m reading this weekend
Decentralized finance (“DeFi”) refers to a group of smart contracts and digital assets built on Ethereum that let users do things like take out loans, exchange assets, hedge risks, make payments, or even insure a smart contract. Today much of this relies on users posting collateral to prevent bad actors. For example, MakerDAO requires users lock up Ether to take out a loan of their stablecoin DAI. The amount of value locked up as collateral is what is represented in the graph above.
DeFi is barely two years old and has seen tremendous growth to date, culminating in $1bn of value being locked up this week. That’s not that much in global financial markets, but it is a huge amount for a messy, experimental, decentralized, and bottom-up ecosystem like DeFi. Definitely a space to watch in 2020.
I’d be worried if they weren’t. But still, the Fed is very careful about what they communicate to the public, and this is the first time that I’m aware of the Fed recognizing that they are exploring digital currencies. Key quote:
Given the dollar's important role, it is essential that we remain on the frontier of research and policy development regarding CBDC. Like other central banks, we are conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and their potential use case for digital currencies, including the potential for a CBDC. We are collaborating with other central banks as we advance our understanding of central bank digital currencies.
They’ve delayed a few times now, so take this with a grain of salt.
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