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Utilizing Healthcare Blockchain to Increase Identity Management

Organizations are beginning to see the value in using healthcare blockchain to securely and accurately identify users.

healthcare blockchain

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Healthcare blockchain is being used for better interoperability and data exchange, and is also being leveraged for identity management so organizations can build a more solid digital trust.

The strong demand for blockchain identity management has prompted several vendors to develop blockchain identity management solutions.

Trusted Key Solutions announced its significant funding to build a blockchain-based secure digital identity solution for the healthcare industry.

Not only are organizations considering using blockchain for increased security, but they are looking to the technology to build a more streamlined approach to identifying clinicians and patients.

“Highly regulated enterprises want to bring their customer experience online but have significant drop-off rates during enrollment due to the cumbersome identity validation, or proofing, process,” Trusted Key CEO Amit Jasuja said in a statement. “With the rise in identity theft and breaches, these organizations also face enormous pressures to deliver a secure and convenient experience.”

“Trusted Key’s platform protects the privacy of consumer data, while allowing enterprises to easily verify that their customers are who they claim to be,” Jasuja continued. “We are rebuilding digital trust.”

Trusted Key has successfully launched its pilot project in conjunction with healthcare consortium NH-ISAC with the intention of reaching more than 150 million consumers across the United States. The pilot project uses a mobile health application that onboards users with flexible identity proofing. The tool provides users with a single, reusable digital identity that can be used to access digital healthcare tools.

Security is one of the most significant benefits of blockchain, and the elimination of a central log database is the biggest security benefit of blockchain.

Traditionally, organizations give up control of their transaction data to a central point of monitoring and administration. Central databases give hackers a single point of access because all the data is stored in one place.

In healthcare, blockchain can improve security because multiple checkpoints are required for any party to access the data. The validation aspect of blockchain is what sets it apart from other solutions that do not store data centrally.

Using this method of validation in healthcare can cut down on clinician login times as well as give patients the opportunity to be in control of their own health information.

Currently clinicians face long login times because they need to log into and out of applications, sometimes hundreds of times a day. Logging in and out this way takes up valuable time the clinician can be spending interacting with the patient.

Blockchain based identity management can eliminate the need to individually log in to every application in each separate instance by eliminating the need for the clinician to separately identify herself for every digital tool.

Healthcare blockchain can also securely give patients control over their own health information, especially when it comes to payments, according to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf.

“Entities are often coordinating data flows between several different parties when processing payments,” Behlendorf told HITInfrastructure.com in a previous interview. “Allowing patients to have visibility into processing these payments could be extremely valuable.”

“This is what many would consider to be the Holy Grail; blockchain could be used as a means to enable or better facilitate the transfer of medical records,” he continued. “With blockchain technology we have a chance really put the patient back at the center of health information exchange.”

Giving patients secure and convenient access to their health records can encourage more active participation in the healthcare process. By knowing more details about their health, patients may be more likely to take preventative healthcare measures to improve their overall health, which could potentially reduce their amount of visits to their doctor.

Healthcare blockchain has many potential applications, and using it to positively identify patients and clinicians can streamline logins and reduce identification security errors.

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