How blockchain could be used for patient identification

Clinical trials are underway to evaluate whether an iris biometric system built using blockchain technology can be used for patient recognition, U.K. news website Verdict reports.

The system, which uses scans of the eye to verify a person's identity, would be applied in healthcare through the Patientory app, created by the eponymous U.S.-based healthcare blockchain solutions company. Trials for the system are being conducted with U.K.-based iris-recognition solutions company IrisGuard.

The app will let healthcare providers verify the identity of their patients and was developed to avoid such errors as matching patients with the wrong health records.

All patient data, including histories, prescriptions and transactions, will be logged through the system, which will be secured and verified using the underlying blockchain network.

"This technology can help providers identify an individual with unparalleled accuracy, through iris-recognition and data matching," said Chrissa McFarlane, CEO and founder of Patientory. "And because it's verified on the blockchain, it's scalable without sacrificing data security — which is one of the main problems with our current healthcare data infrastructure."

The system, which is already used by the United Nations to combat human trafficking and the World Food Programme to support refugees, can verify a person's identification and information in less than three seconds.

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