How Blockchain is All Set to Take Healthcare to New Heights

Moving electronic medical records to the blockchain will change the way healthcare is delivered

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

While healthcare delivery has seen innovation in troves in the last decade, a particularly crucial segment of the industry has remained largely unchanged — the electronic medical record (EMR) of a patient.

Medical data has been highly fragmented so far, with individual organizations and government entities having their own inadequate versions of a patient’s information. According to a Medicare study, American patients consult seven different physicians in the span of a year, over multiple specialities and practices.

Blockchain promises to bridge the gap in data by providing a tamper-proof public ledger to hold information in a decentralized platform. Originally developed as a means to account for cryptocurrency transactions, it is employed across various industries today. The blockchain is ideal for storing patient health records, thanks in part to its data integrity and authentication features.

An Efficient Health Information Exchange (HIE)

A major drawback of a disconnected EMR system is the effect it has on the interoperability of the various stakeholders in the industry. The flow of patient information from one healthcare provider to another is suppressed, and in a lot of cases, inaccurate. As a result, there are various inefficiencies in the entire process flow of a medical appointment, often leading to an incomplete or faulty diagnosis.

Blockchain provides a secure and distributed register to store the entire gamut of a patient’s medical record — health conditions, prescriptions, billing, insurance and other.

This leads to what you would call a “connected healthcare” system, where all the participants in the ecosystem will have access to a patient’s medical history, without having to maintain paper-based records in a conventional manner. With a consent-based mechanism built into the system, patients can choose to share their data with the relevant parties.

Containing The Outbreak of an Epidemic

The spread and outbreak of contagious diseases are aided vastly by the inability to detect the early cases. The most important factor in containing one is the capacity to isolate the infected patients, failing which the disease spreads rapidly turning into a full-blown epidemic.

For example, there were 11,316 reported deaths from Ebola during the 2014 epidemic in Africa, according to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Aside from the calamitous loss of human life, the economic impact was notable – The World Bank estimated that $2.2 billion was lost in 2015 in the GDP of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

During the early stages of an epidemic, there is usually a lack of coordination between medical institutions. News of a patient diagnosed with a highly contagious disease would take weeks or months to reach clinics in the same locale, leading to a viral outbreak of the disease due to a lack of isolation.

Blockchain could solve this problem by bridging the gap between medical providers, and taking early detection to the next level. With a centralized repository of data on the blockchain, organizations such as the CDC or FDA could analyze this data in real-time, setting up triggers in order to curb the outbreak of the disease in its infancy.

Improved and Faster Organ-matching Systems

Organ transplantation and blood donation have seen vast innovation in surgical techniques and organ preservation. Despite this progress, the shortage of organs remains a point of concern – on an average, 11,000 people die each year waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to Donate Life America.

Today, there are various government and private enterprises that actively collect and store donor and recipient data, however, the degree of fragmentation here is high, often leading to large waitlists and consequently, loss of life. Companies like Apple are taking steps in the right direction — the Health app packaged with iOS lets users register themselves as organ donors, and this information is shared with the national registry.

Blockchain could provide a common platform for holding multiple parameters of donor and recipient information. Inter-organizational information exchange would become seamless, improving vastly the time required to match a donor with a recipient. Additionally, its incorruptible nature would provide an added layer of safety and verification for a process as critical as organ transplantation.

What Does the Future Hold?

Although the underlying technology behind the blockchain paves the way for future disruptions, caution must be exercised on how soon we can expect to see the ubiquitous use of the technology. There would be technical challenges encountered in the process of moving petabytes of records to the blockchain periodically. In terms of storage and transfer speeds, legacy systems are way ahead today, due in part to how nascent the technology still is.

A major point of contention arising out of EMR on the blockchain is the ownership of this data. Ideally, a patient’s medical records should be owned by the patient alone, with a consent-based system of sharing. However, governments would have to put policies in place to regulate the transfer and ownership of this information, and define the relationship between the EMR and the various stakeholders involved, such as the patient, doctor, clinic, pharmacy and insurance company. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates the laws pertaining to medical data privacy in the US and is expected to gain greater prominence in the coming years with blockchain bringing up questions on medical data ownership and security.

Nevertheless, some nascent applications of the technology are beginning to take shape. In a survey undertaken by IBM of healthcare executives both on the insurance and provider side, 16 per cent of the respondents expected to roll-out a commercial blockchain application the same year. The technology is expected to become more commonplace over the next few years.

Moving to the blockchain will pave the way for quantum leaps in health-tech in the future, concepts that would be out of the scope or imagination of this article. For an industry that has remained largely stagnant for the past few decades, blockchain promises to be the innovation to propel it forward.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Privacy Policy is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information


Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:


Our business partners:


Connected third parties:


We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.


We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalize and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as or For more information about cookies, visit

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the WideBitcoin Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the WideBitcoin Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018