Blockchain Technology for Healthcare: Facilitating the Transition to Patient-Driven Interoperability.

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Computational and structural biotechnology journal, ISSN: 2001-0370, Vol: 16, Page: 224-230

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Gordon, William J; Catalini, Christian
Elsevier BV
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Computer Science
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Interoperability in healthcare has traditionally been focused around data exchange between business entities, for example, different hospital systems. However, there has been a recent push towards patient-driven interoperability, in which health data exchange is patient-mediated and patient-driven. Patient-centered interoperability, however, brings with it new challenges and requirements around security and privacy, technology, incentives, and governance that must be addressed for this type of data sharing to succeed at scale. In this paper, we look at how blockchain technology might facilitate this transition through five mechanisms: (1) digital access rules, (2) data aggregation, (3) data liquidity, (4) patient identity, and (5) data immutability. We then look at barriers to blockchain-enabled patient-driven interoperability, specifically clinical data transaction volume, privacy and security, patient engagement, and incentives. We conclude by noting that while patient-driving interoperability is an exciting trend in healthcare, given these challenges, it remains to be seen whether blockchain can facilitate the transition from institution-centric to patient-centric data sharing.