How health records could benefit from blockchain

Blockchain technology has made a significant impact on the financial sector, and now the decentralized ledger is making its way into the healthcare space. Beyond assisting patient payments, blockchain has the potential to positively affect patient health records, Computerworld reports.

Patients continue to take more control over their personal health records. It is important that this data remains secure and immutable. Blockchain can help ensure health records remain secure. The technology also supports data sharing, something that is often difficult among EHR vendors.

Through blockchain technology, patients can also get paid to sell their data to researchers and drug developers. Patients can choose which information they want to sell and only make that data available to select parties.

"Patients can become owners of data, and with their consent, share data with practitioners and allow them to sell anonymous data to buyers," said Rhea Mehta, CEO of blockchain company Bowhead Health, according to Computerworld.

Blockchain uses hashing, the creations of a unique digital signature for each encrypted block of data added to the decentralized ledger. The hashes create a digital map for patient data. This also creates an audit trail for added oversight.

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