News Feature | January 6, 2017

Healthcare Has The Most Aggressive Plans To Deploy Blockchain

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Health innovation plans

Thirty-five percent of healthcare and life sciences organizations plan to deploy Blockchain in the next year.

Healthcare has the most aggressive plans to deploy Blockchain in the next year, outpacing adoption in all other industries according to a Deloitte report. In fact, 35 percent of surveyed healthcare and life sciences organizations indicated they have plans to deploy Blockchain in 2017.

The study polled 308 participants and found 21 percent of the top-level executives across a range of industries said their companies are already using Blockchain, with an additional 25 percent stating they will do so in 2017. And the importance of Blockchain for security is well recognized: 55 percent of execs said their company’s competitiveness would be hurt if they failed to adopt Blockchain.

The report also found signs of Blockchain adoption and innovation varied widely by industry. Eric Piscini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Global Financial Services Blockchain leader, says, “Most financial services companies have been involved in Blockchain via their labs, investments, and pilots for a while now. Others industries [including healthcare] are now starting to realize the potential for disruption, as well as the new opportunities that Blockchain creates.”

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has already recognized the potential of Blockchain for healthcare. In July, HHS launched a challenge to use Blockchain to solve privacy, security, and scalability issues in EHRs, announcing 15 winners including Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, and Mayo Clinic in September.

“It’s going to be the architecture of the underlying data layer that unites all of the disparate services of the healthcare industry into one interoperable system — all the way from tracking data from fitness devices and general wellness metrics, to treatment at medical providers, to prescriptions, all the way through to medical claims adjudication,” Micah Winkelspecht, founder and CEO of Blockchain startup Gem, told Healthcare Dive earlier this year.

According to the Deloitte survey, execs said Blockchain helps improve security at a greater speed/lower costs, and creates new business models/revenue streams.