HIMSS and Health 2.0 European Conference

Helsinki, Finland
June 11-13, 2019

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The transition from hype to reality in the world: blockchain in healthcare, where are we now?

In a recent article I mentioned some of the big “trends” of 2018.

It does not come as surprise that DLT/ Blockchain appears in various lists of innovative assistive technologies. The healthcare domain and life science domain that is known for not being the fastest adopters, we are now beginning to sense a less rigid mindset towards the technology and its use in the Health Care.

It is always helpful to see real world use cases to support the value of why DLT’s (Decentralized Ledger Technologies) in healthcare. We have seen applications for research and clinical trial trials, health information and data exchange, health insurance processes and so forth.

So how come that regardless the fair share of good solutions out there we still do not seem to speed up the adoption?

The Blockchain challenges

“Pilotitis”, not a new tech phenomenon but the blockchain sphere stills struggle with this “syndrome”. Many companies do get the opportunity to pilot their projects but after that, there is when the uphill begins.  Scalability, procurement challenges, culture differences both business and jurisdictions challenges and lack of policy and governmental support are just a few examples of contributing factors.

After various conversation with peers in the industry there is a curiosity to explore the various ways of how the technology can assist in ease some of the day to day operational tasks and processes in the care chain and health ecosystem, but there is still a weak spot for decision makers when it comes to fully understand the technology, what solutions to choose, the lack of  standards or /and guidelines  that can support the with this decisions.
Other factors mentioned where the lack of flexible blockchains, semantics issues and in my opinion one of the biggest issues, trust.

Like the ongoing conversation on AI and ethics, the DLT/Blockchain eco- system is struggling with this area as well.  Fostering trust in the technology requires fostering trust among the people involved. So how do we who are on the other side of the coin contribute to address these challenges?  Education remain key for the adaption and for the continued support for unprepared decision-makers.

What are the next steps for Blockchain?

To help leverage and to better understand the potential that DLT (Decentralized Ledger Technologies) has demonstrated to impact the healthcare industry, HIMSS invites you to attend the session “Blockchain – Time for a reality check?” Thursday 13th June. This will be hold at the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference 11-13 of June in Helsinki, Finland.

A great opportunity to get introduced to real world use cases, what are you peers working on, ask questions, share best practices and most importantly understand what problem can blockchain potentially solved in your organisation.

Maria Marenco
Independent Health
Informatics Consultant
@healthurbanista

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