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Application of Blockchain in Personal Health Data

Large amount of medical-related data was originally stored in hospital database. This traditional, concentrated storage method is extremely vulnerable to losses, amendments and hacking.According to the US health and services data, in 2015, medical-related records were hacked and destroyed for 112 million times. Blockchain features, such as anonymity and decentralization, can help to not only secure patients’ privacy and data, but also to save and share these personal health data in real time.

Before the blockchain was applied in this field, there were two large-scale accidents of data disclosure.Anthem disclosed records of 80 million patients and employees, while UCLA Health disclosed records of 4.5 million patients

People pay more and more attention to medical care. Meanwhile, controversies are also increasing. The use of blockchain technology to construct electronic medical records and disease data solves the cons of traditional platforms, such as lack of standards and vulnerability to hackers. In the recent two years, more and more medical projects have applied the technology of blockchain.

AliHealth cooperated with Changzhou for the “Medical Link + Blockchain” (医联体+区块链) project, which applies blockchain as the underlying technical system to achieve secure and controllable data interconnection between medical institutions. The project helped to solve information isolation and data security problems that have long disturbed medical institutions.

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Based on the blockchain platform of Bubi and Belink, Sunshine Insurance, Ciming Health Checkup Group and Sunshine Union Hospital collaborated to launch the first blockchain platform that authorizes medical staff to view patients’ health records in China. This innovation breaks through the barriers of the traditional platforms and build an efficient and reliable personal health data sharing network, allowing multiple organizations to share clients’ medical reports legally, securely and conveniently to better serve their clients.

Application of blockchain in personal health data:

1.      Blockchain can prevent data disclosure through private key management and encryption. When data is stored in the blockchain, data can only be authorized to assess when the required multiple signatures are provided. This technology sets strict rules for access of data. It must be authorized to proceed, no matter you are doctors, nurses, or patients themselves. The access can be set in a way that it is only allowed when 2 of the 3 people have authorized to access.

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2.   Time stamp is used to ensure data accuracy after data is encrypted and written into the blockchain. Records and data that are written cannot be changed at all. It can only be used or read with permission and cannot be copied. This advantage of the blockchain avoids medical data fraud and records tampering. The accuracy and uniqueness of the medical data is guaranteed, allowing patients to receive post-treatment more efficiently.

3. Blockchain technology enables complex management of multiple private keys. Through a “smart contract”, you can set up multiple private keys for each individual information and set rules for the access of data. People who need to access the data must obtain the private key authorization. The blockchain technology ensures the personal sensitive data is used within the network under control and legitimacy.

4.  Blockchain can provide personal authorization for health data. When customers need to provide health certificates, they can authorize third parties to check the reliability of health data online. They can prove that they are healthy online without going to hospitals or medical centers. Clients do not need to repeat the physical examination for different events, such as qualification test, bank credit application and insurance purchase. Under the blockchain environment, the personal health data authorization helps with the sharing of health data. This not only reduces the economic burden and the waste of resources, but also improves the efficiency of the institutions.During the authorization process, the client’s primitive data will not be disclosed to third parties and leave the data location. Blockchain is open,transparent, traceable, and could not be tampered. This ensure data authenticity and user privacy and eliminate the risk of inappropriate use of data.

In the future, there will be more projects focusing on personal health data. The use of blockchain technology can make the medical market a more standardized, healthier and more reasonable one. Ultimately, it will reduce the credit risk of the medical industry and improve the patients’ treatments.