How AI, machine learning & blockchain will advance population health: Q&A with HSBlox Chief of Strategy, Operations

Lynn Carroll, chief of strategy and operations for health IT support company HSBlox in Alpharetta, Ga., discusses his predictions for blockchain in 2019 and how the technology will be used in value-based reimbursement programs.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Where is blockchain in healthcare now and how will it develop in 2019?

Lynn Carroll: Blockchain is poised to move from proof-of-concept and pilot programs into production use cases. We are seeing this happen in our business currently.

Q: What do you think will be the most significant blockchain applications in healthcare over the next five years?

LC: Revenue cycle touchpoints, particularly as they relate to value-based reimbursement programs, will continue to grow. Patient integration — including the incorporation of edge-data device generated and patient generated — will continue to advance population health and quality initiatives. The melding of artificial intelligence and machine learning with blockchain smart contracts will continue to push real-time capabilities throughout the healthcare ecosystem.

Q: What do health IT leaders at hospitals and health systems need to know about blockchain today?

LC: Blockchain implementations in healthcare are real and are providing significant improvements in the permissioned dissemination of real-time data across the continuum of care. Operationally, distributed ledgers and smart contracts can automate workflows and increase real-time transparencies for patients.

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