IBM is collaborating with Aetna, acquired last November by pharmacy and health plan provider CVS Health, health plan provider Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation the largest customer-owned health insurance provider in the U.S. and PNC Bank to incorporate a “blockchain-based ecosystem” to improve healthcare space.
More specifically, blockchain will be employed to handle the sharing of sensitive data and for health claims. Combining the account of all the members involved, the new system will handle close to 100 million healthcare plans.
In addition, IBM states that in the coming month’s Health Utility Network and other health organizations, healthcare providers, startups, and technology companies will join in the program. Barbara Hayes, IBM general manager for payers at IBM Watson Health told CoinDesk:
“IBM is one of the founding members, but everybody has an equal stake across those founding members. It’s so important because you do have competitors side by side who are going after tremendous amounts of waste that is in the healthcare system; 40 cents, 50 cents on the dollar.”
Hayes adds that transforming an industry such as healthcare implies going after insights and advanced predictions using data and eliminating waste or inefficiencies. She adds:
“In healthcare, these inefficiencies are in clinical areas and in administrative areas – or just friction that happens in the system which leads to bad customer experience.”
The IBM, general manager of the intellectual property, Dr. Bill Lafontaine added:
“We are going to provide the SDKs and other ways to link to the platform. We are leaving this very open because many of the members are bringing different technologies that they have already been investing in and so they get a faster return on that investment.”
Healthcare industry has invited a lot of attention from blockchain developers, including some of the prominent names such as Change Healthcare, Hashed Health, Guardtime, Gem and SimplyVital. For instance, last year in April, Humana and United Health Group, two of the largest health insurers, teamed up on a blockchain pilot with data providers Quest Diagnostics, Multiplan and Optum.
ProCredEx, another healthcare blockchain launched in November last year with a focus on storing and sharing the credentials of medical and dental practitioners and is expected to save time and costs within the industry.