Blockchain technology is poised to revolutionize more than just payment and crypto-currency. Many vertical industries will be reshaped by the new trusted data models enabled and inspired by the blockchain – healthcare is no exception. In fact, healthcare may hold the greatest opportunities for meaningful use of the technology. Early pioneers have explored some of the first use cases for medical payments, electronic health records, HIPAA/data privacy, drug counterfeiting, and credentialing of healthcare professionals. We have only begun to scratch the surface in how to automate the complexities of today’s healthcare systems and design new systems which focus on trust, transparency and the alignment of incentives.
Metcalf, Bass, Dhillon, and Hooper have curated a collection of examples based on the fundamentals of blockchain that build upon the early successes and examples that point to the future. After a brief introduction to bitcoin, blockchain and the protocols available, a getting-started guide is presented specific to health and healthcare. The authors discuss the complexities and possibilities of smart contracts and some of the early consortia that are exploring the possibilities.
Examples and use cases are found throughout the book, with specific sections that cover the more sophisticated and far-reaching examples which have the potential to scale at the industry-level. In addition, a discussion of integrating blockchain technology into other advanced healthcare trends and IT systems – such as telemedicine, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, value-based payments , patient engagement solutions, big data solutions, medical tourism, and precision medicine/genetic therapies among many others are presented. The final section provides a glimpse into the future using blockchain technology and examples of research projects that are still in labs across the globe. The appendices may prove particularly useful for additional details on how to get started, including resources and organizations specifically focusing on blockchain and distributed ledger solutions.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Telemedicine. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. The Internet of Things. Value-Based Payments. Patient Engagement Solutions. Big Data Solutions. Medical Tourism. Precision Medicine/Genetic Therapies. Cybersecurity. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain/Development. Patient Engagement. Hospital Administration. Future Uses of Blockchain Technology.
David Metcalf has more than 20 years of experience in the design and research of Web-based and mobile technologies converging to enable learning and health care. Dr. Metcalf is Director of the Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training. The team has built mHealth solutions, simulations, games, eLearning, mobile and enterprise IT systems for Google, J&J, the Veterans Administration, U.S. military, and the UCF College of Medicine among others. Recent projects include Lake Nona’s Intelligent Home prototype and Significant Technology, a mobile-enabled online degree and eResource kit. Dr. Metcalf encourages spin-offs from the lab as part of the innovation process and has launched Moving Knowledge and several other for-profit and nonprofit ventures as examples. In addition to research and commercial investments, he supports social entrepreneurship in education and health. Dr. Metcalf continues to bridge the gap between corporate learning and simulation techniques and nonprofit and social entrepreneurship. Simulation, mobilization, mobile patient records and medical decision support systems, visualization systems, scalability models, secure mobile data communications, gaming, innovation management, and operational excellence are his current research topics. Dr. Metcalf frequently presents at industry and research events shaping business strategy and use of technology to improve learning, health, and human performance. He is the coeditor and author of Blockchain Enabled Applications (2017) (With Dhillon and Hooper), Connected Health (2017), HIMSS mHealth Innovation (2014) and the HIMSS Books bestseller mHealth: From Smartphones to Smart Systems (2012).
John Bass is the Founder and CEO of Hashed Health, a healthcare innovation firm focused on accelerating the design, development and meaningful utilization of blockchain technologies and networks. John has over 20 years of experience in healthcare technology with expertise in collaborative health platforms, patient engagement, systems integration, supply chain, clinical performance and value-based payments. At Hashed Health, John’s team partners with public and private sector clients to develop distributed and decentralized solutions that solve health delivery challenges. John is an internationally recognized speaker on blockchain and decentralized healthcare technology. Prior to Hashed Health, John was CEO at InVivoLink, a surgical patient registry and care management start-up which sold to HCA in 2015. John’s experience also includes healthcare B2B startup empactHealth.com which was acquired by Medibuy / Global Healthcare Exchange. John is a native of Nashville and has a Chemistry degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Vikram Dhillon is a research fellow in the Institute of Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida where he studies the integration of emerging technologies into existing infrastructure. The focus of his recent work has been on decentralized ledger technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Central Florida, where his focus was bioinformatics. Currently, he is a DO-MBA candidate at the College of Medicine, Nova Southeastern University. He is the author of several scientific papers in computational genomics and two books, the most recent one on blockchain enabled applications. He has also written in-depth articles for the Bitcoin Magazine and letters for the New York Times. He was previously funded by the National Science Foundation through the Innovation Corps program to study customer discovery and apply it to commercialize high-risk startup ideas. He is a member of the Linux Foundation and has been active in open source projects and initiatives for the past several years. He often speaks at local conferences and meetups about programming, design, security, and entrepreneurship. He currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and writes a technology-focused blog at opsbug.com.
Max Hooper is the chief executive officer of Merging Traffic. He is responsible for the company’s management and growth strategy, serving as the corporate liaison to the financial services industry and various capital formation groups. Prior to starting the company, he was cofounder of Equity Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), a media company that owned and operated more than 100 television stations across the United States. He was responsible for activities in the cable, satellite, investment banking, and technology industries and during his tenure it grew to become one of the top 10 largest broadcasting companies in the country. A lifelong learner, Hooper has earned five doctorate degrees: PhD, DMin, PhD, ThD, and DMin from a variety of institutions. As an avid runner, he has completed more than 100 marathons and an additional 20 ultra-marathons, which are 50- or 100-mile runs. He has completed the Grand Slam of Ultra Running. Hooper is committed to his family and is a husband, father to five children, and grandfather to seven grandsons. He is active in many organizations and serves on various boards of directors. He works globally with several ministries and nonprofit aid groups, and was honored to speak at the United Nations in New York in 2015.