Anthem, the second largest health insurance company in the United States, plans to use blockchain technology to protect the medical data of all 40 million members in the next three years.
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As reported by Forbes on December 12, Anthem plans to use blockchain technology to provide patients with secure access to their medical data, while also making it possible for them to share data they deem appropriate. Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux said at the 8th Forbes Medical Annual Summit in New York:
"What the blockchain may offer us is that we don't have to worry about those trust issues. We now have the opportunity to share data where people can make their own decisions."
The company is currently conducting a pilot test on a smaller group of members who can use mobile applications to scan QR codes and immediately allow different healthcare providers to access their health records for a limited time. Anthem Chief Digital Officer Rajeev Ronanki said:
"We think this is quite transformative for health.We are essentially creating a license-based system that will allow consumers to have their own medical data and then provide it appropriately to providers."
According to reports, Anthem plans to launch this new blockchain-based system in several stages starting from 2020.
Anthem partners with insurance giants Aetna, PNC Bank and IBM
Earlier this year, Anthem partnered with health insurance giants Aetna, PNC Bank and IBM to create a blockchain network targeted at the healthcare industry. Chris Ward, an executive at PNC Bank's money management department, said at the time that implementing a blockchain solution could eliminate the friction, duplication, and management costs that continue to plague the healthcare industry.
Hospitals, health insurance companies, and other industry professionals continue to explore blockchain technology and its benefits for sharing, protecting, and simplifying sensitive health-related data.