The future of blockchain applications lies in identity: HPEC CEO Dr. Leah Houston

Leah Houston, MD, CEO and founding partner of blockchain healthcare platform provider HPEC in New York City, discusses healthcare identity platforms and how blockchain will affect them in the future.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

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

Dr. Leah Houston: Blockchain is still in its infancy. Many projects are still being developed, and most are proprietary. It is unclear as to how far along most projects are, but we should learn within the next year or two who will come out ahead.

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

LH: The most important applications will center around identity; the identities of patients, health systems, physicians and other clinicians. Identity platforms will provide a mechanism for peer-to-peer data and asset transfer among all stakeholders. Payment platforms will allow for supply chain management and price transparency among payers and providers of goods and services across industries, including healthcare.

In research and development, I hope to see federated data sharing in order to appropriately reward contributions while improving redundancy and waste in the biopharmaceutical research industry.

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

LH: Blockchain technology will be applied across industries similarly to how the internet was applied across industries. Unlike the current system where advancements are kept proprietary, the most fruitful applications for blockchain will be community driven and cooperation will lead to the most important advancements.

To learn more about Dr. Houston and HPEC, visit social media accounts @LeahHoustonMD and @HPECDAO. 

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