August 10, 2018

Blockchain: How is it impacting healthcare?

Julie Carty

Big Data, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics all are terms that are becoming increasingly familiar to the healthcare industry.  Blockchain however, is still a bit of a mystery. Today were going to take a quick look at; what exactly is blockchain? what are its initial applications within healthcare? and who are the key players driving this innovation?

What is it?

Blockchain is a distributed data structure that can be time-stamped and signed using a private key to prevent tampering. Originally established within the  financial services, it is now the underlying tech for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

What are its initial applications in healthcare?

Siloed data is one of healthcare’s biggest challenges. The technology behind blockchain has the potential to significantly improve this lack of interoperability. Moreover, the technology can provide an extra layer of security to data – something that will sit well in an era where there is an ever increasing threat of cyber hacks against hospital systems, and while the security of patient’s medical records are under threat.

Blockchain in Action

Blockchain decentralizes health data. The patient, provider, and payor are all provided with separate codes (hashes) to unlock the patient’s data. The patient defines their profile and the access rules required to unlock their medical records.

Key Players in the Space


Michael Dillhyon, the founder Youbase, is developing a Personal Health Information Exchange Layer using Blockchain technology. You can view more information on YouBase here.


Gem Health

Founded in April 2016, Gem Health has partnered with Philips Blockchain lab and has raised $7.1M in funding to further develop their technology. You can view more information on Gem Health here.



Pokitdok is a Healthcare API system that is currently developing a blockchain solution for healthcare named Dokchain. You can view more information on Pokitdok here.