Walmart patent proposes storing patient records on the blockchain

Walmart was recently awarded a patent that describes a system of storing patient medical records on the blockchain within a wearable device so first responders can access patient data in emergency situations, according to CCN.

The patent, titled "Obtaining a Medical Record Stored on a Blockchain from a Wearable Device," describes three core devices starting with a wearable — ideally, a bracelet — that acts as the storage hub for the blockchain database, which only holds emergency-specific information to protect privacy. The patent also includes a biometric scanner to capture the patient's biometric signature and a Radio-Frequency Identification scanner for scanning the wearable device.

Walmart hopes the system will allow medical providers to access a patient's vital medical records and information before the patient arrives at a particular facility. Here is how Walmart envisions its patent in action:

1. When a first responder scans a patient's wearable device with the RFID scanner, they would receive an encrypted private key and the public key associated with that particular patient.

2. To decrypt the private key, the first responder would scan a biometric feature on the patient, such as their face, retina, iris or fingerprint.

3. As soon as the private key is decrypted, the patient's medical records can be viewed on the blockchain.

4. The patent would also enable first responders to share the patient's health information with other healthcare entities through the use of internet of things devices.

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