It looks like more big names are coming to the world of blockchain testing in the real world. Reuters reports that Harvard University and The Levi Strauss Company will be teaming up to test a blockchain-powered platform they think could replace external factory health and safety auditors. Blockchain healthcare platforms are also on the rise.
Harvard and Levi’s will be teaming up with New America think tank, and deploying the new system into three of Levi’s factories in Mexico. The goal is to create a solid record of health and safety in industrial settings, and remove the inconsistencies that are associated with human auditors.
Blockchain Healthcare and Oversight Platforms are Growing
The director of Harvard T.H. Chan’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise, Dr. Eileen McNeely, commented that, “For the last 25 years, work in supply chains has been monitored mainly by audits… A distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the source offers a new solution.”
The initial testing will comprise 5,000 workers and could lead to much wider usage of the system if it is successful. The blockchain that will be used in the pilot program is being designed by ConsenSys. Joseph Lubin founded ConsenSys, and was also one of Ethereum’s (ETH) original developers.
Anthem, Aetna, and Health Care Service Corporation turn to Blockchain Healthcare Solutions
There are many areas where blockchain could be applied to healthcare. Blockchain’s ability to create independent records could lead to greater levels of data sharing, with greater efficiencies realized between industry and healthcare providers.
IBM and PNC Bank are teaming up with Aetna, Anthem, and Health Care Service Corporation to look for ways that blockchain could make a difference in healthcare.
The companies stated that, “The aim is to create an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a secure, shared environment…The goal is to allow the blockchain network to enable healthcare companies to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation in the industry,” in a recent announcement.
The first phase of their collaboration will be a ‘health utility network’, which will work to identify use cases which blockchain can be used to secure the exchange if healthcare data. Healthcare records are extremely important, but the shift to Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs) has been troublesome.
Many doctors have complained about the process of entering data, and the lack of efficiencies in the EHR platforms.
Blockchain Presents Solutions
Aetna is one of the largest managed care companies in the USA. Its Chief Technology Officer, Claus Jensen, said that, ”We are committed to improving the healthcare consumer experience and making our healthcare system work more effectively,” and also, “Through the application of blockchain technology, we’ll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data.”
Healthcare providers are facing rising costs. The population in the USA needs to have better access to care, without it costing more than it does already. The five companies involved in the venture are hoping that blockchain can make administrative activities more efficient, and also make data more accurate.
Loads of Praise for Blockchain
Chris Ward, the Head of Product at PNC Treasury Management, commented that, “This alliance will enable healthcare-related data and business transactions to occur in way that addresses market demands for transparency and security, while making it easier for the patient, payer and provider to handle payments” and that, “Using this technology, we can remove friction, duplication, and administrative costs that continue to plague the industry.”
It is easy to see that blockchain development is catching on in a big way. Lori Steele, who is IBM’s General Manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences, said that, “Blockchain’s unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled, and transparent way,” and that, “The fact that these major healthcare players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the healthcare system and ultimately improve the patient experience.”
It would be hard to imagine a more glowing endorsement of a new technology than that. Hopefully, these efforts help industry to create better records and also keep healthcare costs as affordable as possible.