Massachusetts General Hospital might store patient data on blockchain through new partnership

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Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston partnered with Korean blockchain startup MediBloc to explore using the blockchain to store and share patient health information, according to CoinDesk.

Blockchain describes a permanent and shared ledger of online transactions or exchanges that, unlike a traditional database that is centrally located and maintained by one party, is shared among a network of users.

Under its agreement with MediBloc, MGH aims to "explore potentials of blockchain technology to provide secure solutions for health information exchange, integrate healthcare AI applications into the day-to-day clinical workflow, and support [a] data sharing and labeling platform for machine learning model development," Synho Do, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Medical Imaging and Computation, a joint venture of MGH and Boston-based Harvard Medical School, told CoinDesk.

MediBloc is developing a blockchain network for storing and sharing patient data as well as a tool to convert hospital data into a universal format. In this way, blockchain could help remove barriers to interoperability.

The startup, co-founded by two physicians, has gained notoriety in South Korea, having been tapped for two government-funded projects and eight medical institutions.

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