Community Spotlight

Blockchain Stories 2020: Highlights from Five Weeks of Community Sharing in Asia Pacific

By Blog, Community Spotlight

We all have heard blockchain stories. Stories that redefined the way businesses operate. Stories that created new business across the domains. Stories that propelled innovation. Stories that are defining the future of technology. Stories that helped others run their business in decentralized fashion. And a lot more.

Blockchain technology has seen increasingly wider adoption across the industries. Digital transformation of businesses and innovation in the healthcare industry have seen unprecedented demand like never before during the challenging times of COVID-19. What seemed impossible in the past is now turning to be reality.

The Hyperledger India Chapter aims to bridge the gap between the blockchain technology enthusiasts and the blockchain technology experts. To us, it seemed it was time for an event to bring together booming startups and established organizations to share their blockchain journey. In these demanding times, having physical get-togethers is impossible around the world. There is a saying in Sanskrit “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which translates to “World is Indeed One Family.” The idea of having the virtual event in India transformed to one that could benefit the whole Asia Pacific audience. The event time was chosen so that everybody in the Asia Pacific region from the Middle East to Australia/New Zealand could attend.

In the last week of May and through June, Hyperledger India Chapter proudly organized a series of interactive events, the most anticipated “Blockchain Stories 2020.”

The series was an attempt to answer the questions one normally hears. Is blockchain really being adopted across the industries? What uses can blockchain solve? How do you effectively use a blockchain solution? Can blockchain transform agriculture? How does blockchain transform education and certification in the future? Is blockchain an answer to all the healthcare problems? What are the barriers for the adoption of blockchain technology?


  • 25+ organizations presented their solutions. The topics covered a range of domains including supply chain, telecom, healthcare, agriculture, digitally verifiable certificates, self sovereign identity and security, digital currency, global trade, research and education. 
  • More than 1,000 blockchain enthusiasts from across the Asia Pacific region signed up for the events.
  • Community engagement continued across five weeks.
  • 20+ volunteers helped tirelessly, physically separated but virtually connected. 

That’s not all. Since Hyperledger believes in inclusive community growth, sessions not only showcased solutions built on Hyperledger projects but also ones built on other platforms. These sessions focused more on how blockchain as a technology pillar is helping to design solutions to the demanding problems. The series also featured talks on how to measure and improve the performance of blockchain frameworks.

Indian blockchain firms have made an impact on Industry 4.0, which created massive hype amongst the young, brilliant and blooming minds of India. Blockchain tech has already made its way into many mainstream industries. The emerging technology startups thanked the Hyperledger India Chapter for organizing an event and providing them an opportunity to present their solution alongside the lights of big establishments. AyanWorks, a blockchain startup based in Pune, India, presented their immunity passport solution for safe reopening of the post pandemic world. Snapper Future Tech & IIT Alumni Association presented their solution on COVID-19 X-Ray analysis using  blockchain & AI, reducing the cost of testing. Tech Mahindra showed how blockchain is helping to solve the telecom’s billion subscriber problem, and countries including the USA are requesting a similar solution. The dltledgers, a blockchain startup based in Singapore, shared their digital transformation journey for cross border trade finance. Soramitsu, a blockchain technology firm based in Japan, shared their payment solution.

Arun S M, Walmart Global Tech, says It feels amazing to see the great response from the community. What started as a thought late last year took multiple turns, shapes and forms to be finally called Blockchain Stories 2020. Hyperledger staff members made it easy for us to turn a local event into a virtual one that reached an audience throughout Asia Pacific. The community stood by us through a technical glitch on our first day of the event, showing quality and a high level of interest and engagement.”

Julian Gordon, VP, Asia Pacific, Hyperledger, says “Hyperledger’s India Chapter volunteers worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to produce this wonderful series of ‘Blockchain Stories 2020’ for the Hyperledger and wider blockchain communities. Each event featured cutting-edge blockchain solutions, addressed opportunities and challenges, and showcased exciting developments in blockchain. Hyperledger has received excellent and appreciative feedback from the series’ virtual audience. It’s particularly timely and heartening to see quality virtual events like these take place in this challenging time of Covid-19. It’s a pleasure to support Hyperledger’s India Chapter, and I would like to thank them for all their work on the ‘Blockchain Stories 2020’ series.”

Did you miss the event? We have got it covered. Watch the recap on YouTube. The Hyperledger India Chapter thanks all the volunteers and organizers for helping to make this event a success story.

About Us: The Hyperledger India Chapter is responsible for growing the Hyperledger community in India, promoting contributions to Hyperledger projects and providing a platform for collaboration, mentoring and support. The chapter aims to showcase the broad range of Hyperledger projects and initiatives to the Indian audience. Join us and share your ideas! Weekly meeting details can be found at the Hyperledger Calendar of Public Meetings.

Future Plans: There is a huge interest in the community to contribute back to open source projects. We are happy to provide a platform and connect, guide and mentor the technical community in India. Following the success of the “Blockchain Stories 2020,” we will organize a “Hyperledger Project Connect Series” to benefit tech enthusiasts in Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions.

Community Spotlight: Meet Saptarshi Choudhury, Hyperledger Public Sector Special Interest Group Co-Chair

By Blog, Community Spotlight, Special Interest Group

Welcome to our Community Spotlight series, which highlights the work of those taking on leadership roles in our special interest and working groups. Meet Saptarshi Choudhury, co-chair of the Public Sector Special Interest Group and Director of Emerging Technologies for Paramount Software Solutions.

Tell us about yourself. Describe your current role, your current business and background, and your involvement in the Hyperledger Public Sector SIG.

I am the Director of Emerging Technologies for Paramount Software Solutions. Since July 2018, I’ve primarily worked on digital transformation in enterprises through blockchain. Prior to that, I worked for AMK Solutions exploring the values of human dynamics and correlation with digital adoption. I started my engagement with the public sector in December 2012 as an electrical engineer for the infrastructure unit of HSCL. I hold a Bachelors and Masters in electrical engineering and have had the opportunity to glimpse the diversity of the world from the lens of different challenging roles. Last year in February, the Hyperledger Public Sector Special Interest Group (PS SIG) intrigued me as it drew attention from people all over the world with diverse backgrounds in technical, business, political or socio-economic frontiers. I have been regularly attending the biweekly meetings for the last one and a half years and am presently hosting the meeting as a co-chair with Dr. Hanna Norberg.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years? 

Hyperledger is expanding the width and depth of its efforts to promote decentralization for trust and transparency through its evergreen projects. Distributed ledger technologies like Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth are gaining global attention as platforms for private and permissioned ledgers for enterprise applications whereas Hyperledger Indy is revolutionizing how we perceive the fundamental concept of Digital ID. This year Hyperledger Besu was featured in the Coindesk 50. There are other exciting projects like Iroha and Burrow that are on track to help solve critical challenges of the world through blockchain. My hope is that we will be able to make progress on different aspects with tools like Hyperledger Cactus on interoperability, Hyperledger Avalon on trusted off-chain transactions and Hyperledger Caliper on performance benchmarking. In addition, thanks to the Hyperledger Ursa library, we will be able to avoid duplicating cryptographic modules for different projects. 

What do you see as the biggest barrier to widespread blockchain adoption?

My take is that the biggest barriers are lack of clarity in policies and regulations covering the different aspects of blockchain and the need for standardization and interoperability among the evolving solutions.

What are the biggest opportunities ahead for blockchain developers?

The Hyperledger projects are based on software languages that are popular among programmers, and so they can get started without specialized training. The underlying coding background could be JavaScript, Python, Go or even Java. Even if someone has limited skill in coding, they don’t need to shy away from working with the community as the starting point could be adding value to the documentation team. They can also review and contribute to the projects in Github.

What is the Public Sector SIG working on currently? Any new developments to share? 

The Public Sector SIG is presently hosting biweekly presentations by interested volunteers from different parts of the world. We proactively monitor all the governmental policies and initiatives associated with blockchain. In addition, we are creating a database of all the blockchain initiatives in the public sector globally. Recently, there has been a surge of interest among the members to address the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also seeing interest in the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

What’s the most important milestone for the Public Sector SIG to reach in 2020? 

The unending pandemic of Covid-19 has tilted the focus on healthcare. However, there are people who also want to explore and understand the regulatory frameworks and progressive stance for blockchain in different countries. We as a community collectively intend to foster collaboration among public agencies, private organizations and nonprofits with the aim of cutting away barriers to sharing specific blockchain work across borders to minimize siloed efforts and parallel initiatives.

Why should someone participate in the group? Why is it important for Hyperledger to encourage collaboration around adopting blockchain technologies for public sector use cases? 

From an individual point of view, open source meetings are a hotbed for nurturing leadership skills and working in a collaborative environment. From the standpoint of Hyperledger, active community participation means solutions are designed and developed based on shared values and joint philosophy. The Public Sector SIG emphasizes wider adoption of blockchain technologies that add value to all irrespective of who they are or what their worldview entails. 

What are a few ways people can participate in and contribute to the Public Sector SIG? (i.e., What type of support does the group need?)

People can join the Public Sector SIG meetings that occur via Zoom every other Friday at 10am ET. They can also subscribe to the mailing list to stay updated about the latest progress in the community and contribute to the Hyperledger Wiki. To get involved, it’s best to create a Linux Foundation ID. I would also recommend going through the short clip on “How to get involved in the Public Sector SIG.”

Meet some of the many #HyperledgerWomen putting blockchain to work

By Blog, Community Spotlight

To help celebrate #HyperledgerWomen here in the month of March, we are spotlighting just some of the women who are driving forces in our community. These women wear a variety of hats but all play important roles in advancing the development and deployment of enterprise blockchain technologies. 

Help us highlight the role of women in blockchain by tagging others in the community with #HyperledgerWomen.

Tracy Kurt, Accenture

Tracy Kuhrt is a Senior Technology Architect within Accenture’s Blockchain and Multiparty Systems group with 20+ years of experience covering the entire software development lifecycle. Tracy has been involved in the blockchain space since 2015, with a focus on Hyperledger. At Accenture, besides architecting and delivering solutions for clients, Tracy is educating the next group of Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Technology Architects, is a frequent speaker on the topic, and is an advocate for inclusion and diversity in the technology. Tracy drove Accenture’s efforts to open source its Blockchain Automation Framework and Blockchain Integration Framework as Hyperledger Labs.

Tracy is currently a member of, and one of the first women elected to, the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee and a Hyperledger Lab Steward. Check out her recent talk at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 on creating an inclusive community and blog on contributing to the Hyperledger Labs. Prior to Accenture, Tracy served as a Community Architect at Hyperledger, where she worked to build the community, evangelized Hyperledger and its projects worldwide, and helped develop the first Hyperledger EdX course.


The PegaSys team at ConsenSys is focused largely on the development of Hyperledger Besu. There is a core of women working together to drive this project, including:

Madeline Murray is a product owner for privacy and documentation at the protocol engineering team at ConsenSys. She is part of the product development team and works with engineers to define, deliver, and document Hyperledger Besu functionality. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Otago and runs marathons in her free time.

Sally MacFarlane is a Software Engineer at PegaSys, and has been working on Hyperledger Besu (among other things) for two years. The codebase has grown and changed significantly over that time, with many features added. Sally writes code, reviews PRs, updates the wiki and lurks on Rocketchat. Sally is based in Australia.

Grace Hartley is a Strategy & Operations Associate at PegaSys, the protocol engineering team at ConsenSys. Her role with Hyperledger Besu is business-focused. Some of her activities include promoting Hyperledger Besu within the community and engaging with companies using Hyperledger Besu for their use cases. Prior to joining PegaSys, Grace was a management consultant at KPMG in the Financial Services practice. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Enterprise Management from Wake Forest University.

Maryam Mahjoub manages product marketing for Hyperledger Besu and the PegaSys suite of products. She holds over 12 years of SaaS marketing experience and holds her MSc in Healthcare Leadership. Maryam is a snowbird between Canada and Mexico.

Gina Rubino handles digital and social media marketing for Hyperledger Besu as well as the PegaSys suite of products and team as a whole. She has been involved in the blockchain space for 3 years and has over 10 years of marketing experience with a degree in Marketing Communications. 

Leanne Kemp, Everledger 

Leanne Kemp is Founder and CEO of Everledger and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. In her role as CEO, she works to increase transparency and trust with technology, in close collaboration with industry partners. Leanne co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Manufacturing and takes part in the Global Future Council on Blockchain. She also leads workstreams at the Global Blockchain Business Council and co-chairs the World Trade Board’s Sustainable Trade Action Group.Leanne’s awards include the AIM Global Allan Gilligan Award 2019, Advance Global Australian Awards 2018 for Technology Innovation, and Innovator of the Year 2016 and 2018 at the Women in IT Awards (London). More recently, Leanne has been appointed to the Global Blockchain Business Council as a Regional Ambassador of Australia, an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Future Environment at the Queensland University of Technology, and Blockchain Advisory Board Member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Lisa Butters, Honeywell

Lisa is the General Manager for the GoDirect Trade Greenhouse business, which is considered a genuine “garage-style” software start-up inside the Honeywell four walls. She has over 15 years of experience in multiple functions across Honeywell Aerospace. A tech geek at heart, she graduated from college at 19 and started her career as a teenager in web development and database programming. Through the years, she has been passionate about developing her craft in the User Experience.

GoDirect™ Trade is blazing a trail to push the $4B aerospace used parts industry far outside its comfort zone. It is the first marketplace to require price, product images and quality documents to post a listing. It is the first marketplace to give sellers the opportunity to launch customized storefronts to maintain brand identity. Lastly, it’s the first platform to leverage Blockchain to provide consumers as much part history as possible to help make buying decisions quicker and easier. Everyone wants transparency and everyone wants it easy. GoDirect™ Trade is determined to provide both. 

GoDirect Trade recently earned a coveted spot on the Forbes Blockchain 50 list alongside tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Square. Lisa is a recipient of the Honeywell CEO Award and was the first recipient of the Honeywell Aerospace Navigator Award. She has served as a board member on About Care which empowers people to live independently and has also served on the Chandler Arizona Transportation Commission. She is a member of The Connected Place Council which is sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and is a volunteer volleyball coach for the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University, and a Master’s degree in Finance from Harvard University.

Mary Hall, Oracle

Mary leads Oracle’s global marketing for the Oracle Blockchain Platform. In this capacity, Mary works to deliver Oracle’s messaging on the benefits of Blockchain technology.  She works closely with partners and customers to develop case studies, videos and blogs around blockchain projects. Mary was voted one of the “Top 100 Women in Blockchain” by Richtopia. She has also been voted one of the TOP 100 INFLUENCERS IN THE AREA OF IDENTITY by One World Identity. Mary has won many awards for marketing hardware & software products, as well as social media and digital marketing.  She is a member of the Hyperledger Group Marketing Committee and the Supply Chain Marketing Special Interest Group. Mary holds a JD from the Univ. of Toledo College of Law and a BA in English from Miami Univ. Oxford, Ohio. 

Prior to joining Oracle, she was with IBM for 13 years in a variety of marketing roles, including blockchain marketing.

Heather C. Dahl, Sovrin foundation

Heather C. Dahl is the CEO and Executive Director of the Sovrin foundation, the nonprofit working to administer the Sovrin Network–an open source system using distributed ledger technology for decentralized identity. Under her direction, the Sovrin Network has expanded to six continents, enabled enterprises around the world to develop applications across all verticals, and ushered in a revolution in decentralized digital identity. Heather is widely-respected as a thought leader in cybersecurity technology and media with over 25 years of strategic leadership experience in newsrooms, multinational corporations, and high-tech startups. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, a Masters of Science from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Bachelors of Arts from Willamette University.


Archana Sristy, Sr. Director – Blockchain Platforms, Walmart Global Technology

Archana Sristy is committed to creating innovative solutions to solve business problems at Walmart. As Senior Director of Engineering, she is responsible for software engineering and operations functions for Walmart’s enterprise Blockchain Platforms team. Her teams implement blockchain at scale, powered by Hyperledger Fabric, for driving Food Safety in our supply chain. 

An advocate for diversity in tech, Archana is also FIRST youth mentor with 4H and sponsors Asian Women in Technology (AWIT) and Women in Technology (WIT) groups at Walmart. 

Asma Ishak-Mahdi, Senior Buyer – DSCSA Serialization Lead for Walmart Health and Wellness

Asma Ishak-Mahdi received her PharmD from the University of New Mexico, her MBA for Executives from California State University and has completed advanced education from Saïd Business School at Oxford University in London. A strong advocate for digital transformation, problem-solving, process improvement, and technology-infused initiatives, she is respected by her peers as a leader who is dedicated to further advance the profession of pharmacy.  

With over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a passion for innovative technology, she’s served in numerous roles and committees at Walmart and has recently joined Walmart Corporate Offices as the Lead for Drug Serialization under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, DSCSA. She is also serving as the Blockchain Lead for Health and Wellness and has led two successful blockchain pilots for the FDA’s DSCSA Pilot Project Program while working with industry partners in defining attributes of an electronic interoperable system for data exchange to comply with the Federal mandate. 

Her professional interests focus on evaluation of blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical industry to solve for use-cases such as waste mitigation and cold-chain monitoring and in serving to develop young leaders. In addition, she served as the industry expert advising graduate students at Rutgers Business School in collaboration with the Healthcare Distribution Alliance Research Foundation and at the Sam M Walton College of Business. 

Nischala Murthy Kaushik, Wipro

Nischala is the Global Marketing Director for the CTO Office at Wipro. As the marketing partner and advisor to the CTO office, she crafts and executes high impact integrated marketing programs for emerging technology and innovation areas – like blockchain, open source, robotics and smart machines, industry academia research, open innovation. As part of her role as at Wipro, Nischala is an active champion of enterprise blockchain and Hyperledger technologies. She overseas global marketing initiatives for blockchain for Wipro and, as part of the Hyperledger PR / marketing committee, provides input on enterprise use cases on Hyperledger, thought leadership contributions to the community blog and support for Hyperledger events across the globe.

She is a writer, mother, IIM (Indian Institute of Management) alum (a top business school in India), speaker (TEDx, industry, academia), horizon gazer and polymath artist. She is part of the jury for Marketing Awards like DMA ECHO awards. Most recently, she was a Winner (Among Top 3 in India) for the Women Leadership Influencer Awards | Women In Tech – Leader / Innovator / Disruptor of the year category & WICA (Women In Corporate Awards) – Growth Champion (Among Top 3 in India). She uses her voice for causes that she believes in like supporting the case of #WomenAtWork, nurturing skills for new age talent.

Community Spotlight: Meet Bobbi Muscara, Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group Chair

By Blog, Community Spotlight

Welcome to our Community Spotlight series, which highlights the work of those taking on leadership roles in our special interest and working groups. Meet Bobbi Muscara, chair of the Learning Materials Development Working Group and founder of Ledger Academy.

Tell us about yourself. Describe your current role, your current business and background.

My name is Barbara (Bobbi) Muscara. I have spent most of my professional career in technology education. I started my career at Healthcast, as the Director of Education. I designed the educational documentation to support software that enabled medical records to be viewed over the internet. I then went back to school to receive my master’s in Business Education. Since then, I have been training enterprises and individuals how to utilize new software packages. In 2016, I opened Ledger Academy, a Blockchain training company in Princeton, New Jersey, that hosts the local Hyperledger Blockchain meetup group. I currently also chair the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group where we are currently working with other Hyperledger community groups to create standards for Hyperledger documentation. I recently edited the Hyperledger For Business EDx course that went live July 17th and is expected to have over 100,000 students. I also serve as a community volunteer on the Board of Trustees as chairperson of a local addiction recovery organization that provides support for individuals in recovery. 

Discuss your involvement in the Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group (LMDWG).

As chairperson of the working group, my duties are to set and post the agenda and to moderate, record and post notes for the bi-weekly calls. As a group member, I have the responsibility of maintaining the group’s wiki page, where we are working to develop standard templates to assist the community in the development of learning materials. Additionally, I designed a program for Hyperledger meetup organizations to model. The program directs groups to create a Social Impact Summer Blockchain project that has a positive benefit on the local community. To see an example, please visit The Learning Material Development Working Group is also currently developing a community library for all documentation created by projects, working groups and special interest groups.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?  

After working with the special interest groups within the Hyperledger community, it is apparent that every sector and industry is devoting more time and energy into blockchain and is beginning to truly understand the unrealized benefit that the technology holds. From the big banks involved in trade finance solutions to the social impact projects are working on to aid the less fortunate, I believe blockchain will be part of every enterprises’ structure in the near future. 

What do you see as the biggest barrier to widespread blockchain adoption?  

As with all new technology, the education barrier is the most formidable roadblock. People fear what they do not understand, and few people have a solid grasp of the intricacies of this innovation.  Blockchain is a complicated technology that offers simple solutions once realized. As this “preliminary” technology grows, I believe so will acceptance and understanding of its potential benefits.

What are the biggest opportunities ahead for blockchain developers?

I think that, as understanding of the technology grows, smaller projects will begin to arise, which will require qualified developers. The need for coders, architects and developer, as well as the opportunity for training programs, will increase.

What is the LMDWG working on currently? Any new developments to share? 

The LMDWG is currently working on a survey for project maintainers, working groups and special interest groups so that we may better understand the learning material needs in the community. The survey will also help us collect the vast amount of work these groups have completed and create a documentation library complete with a reusable glossary. 

What’s the most important milestone for the LMDWG to reach by the end of 2019?  

The LMDWG just completed the edits on the new EdX course Hyperledger Blockchain for Business, which is a business overview of the technologies. The next course that is coming is the technical guide for each of the projects. We will be developing this course with EdX. A new course for Identity is in development that will cover Indy, Aries and Ursa.

Why should someone participate in the group? Why is it important for Hyperledger to encourage collaboration around adopting blockchain technologies in this industry?

The LMDWG is dedicated to educating the community. The templates we build and the standards we recommend for documentation will shape how the Hyperledger community learns from its members. 

What are a few ways people can participate in and contribute to the LMDWG? 

The best way to connect us is through the chat channel or to join our bi-weekly call. We have a very active wiki page that holds the resource library (a local place for community created documentation). We need support in developing templates and standards for documentation.

How can people get involved in the LMDWG? 

We strongly encourage all community members to get involved in developing documentation for this new technology.
All information about joining our group can be found here.

If you need to learn how to get involved, check out our New Member page for instructions on how to become an active member.

Community Spotlight: Meet Richard Bloch, Hyperledger Healthcare SIG Chair

By Blog, Community Spotlight, Special Interest Group

Welcome to our Community Spotlight series, which highlights the work of those taking on leadership roles in our special interest and working groups. Meet Richard Bloch, chair of the Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG) and founder of Digital Healthcare I/O.

Tell us about yourself. Describe your current role, your current business and background, and your involvement in the Hyperledger HC-SIG.

My name is Rich Bloch. Professionally, I have over 30 years of systems and software engineering and engineering management experience. I spent my first 10 years at Microsoft Corporation, developing Microsoft Word and Microsoft Flight Simulator. After leaving Microsoft to start my consulting groups, Business Learning Incorporated ( and Digital Healthcare I/O (, I’ve spent much of my career working across a broad range of technology domains including Government (the FAA and various DoD agencies), aerospace, satellite engineering, and of course, healthcare.

I also serve as a community volunteer on the Board of Trustees as Chair, and am a Past Chair of the Foundation Board for Northwest Kidney Centers (NKC), the world’s first dialysis provider and the third largest non-profit kidney care organization in the US. In the chronic kidney disease (CKD) domain, I’m an active community speaker and advocate. In 2019, I was honored to deliver the keynote address at the Patient Engagement at UW Medicine Workshop presented by the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington.

I currently chair the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG), an international membership of over 1,000 healthcare professionals interested in identifying and using blockchain technology frameworks and tools to develop real-world, enterprise-grade solutions across the healthcare technologies domain.

What is one issue or problem blockchain can solve in the healthcare industry today? 

It’s important to remember that blockchain technologies–which is a suite of complementary technologies including digital ledger technologies (DLT), self sovereign identity management (SSI), and cryptocurrencies/tokens–is less a stand-alone solution as it a set of unique technologies and protocols. So, to me, the real strength of blockchain technologies are in their universality of applicability. In an article that recently I co-authored, I liken our current understanding of blockchain technologies to the introduction of the Internet back in the early 1990s. Back then, no one really understood what the scope and capabilities were of these new and complex protocols, but we learned and grew to develop successful solutions that ran across the Internet that–today–seem commonplace and natural.

So, to answer the question of what one issue or problem that blockchain technologies might solve in healthcare today, I really can’t say. We’re right now solving many problems in the healthcare domain using all aspects of blockchain technologies–as we understand them today–and I fully expect to develop increasingly more complex solutions as we mature our understanding and use of these blockchain technologies. Some really great enterprise-grade solutions that exist in healthcare today that couldn’t otherwise exist without utilizing aspects of blockchain technologies include the Synaptic Health Alliance , which seeks to identify efficiencies in sharing provider credentialing across payer groups, and the recent collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM to develop a more effective, higher quality, and safer clinical trials workflow in Canada.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years? 

I very much believe that our understanding of blockchain technologies, and even the technologies themselves, are extremely immature. Consider us at a version 1.0 in the industry. There’s tremendous room to grow here. So, even over this next year, and further into the future, my expectation is that we’ll be developing and implementing blockchain technologies that–while fundamentally recognizable as what we know today–will be significantly improved across many domains including: 

Governance: From nothing today to something tangible and operationally effective, opening up blockchain technologies to a much broader spectrum of customers and industries that simply cannot operate without established governance strategies in place

Understanding: We, as implementers, will have gained experience, and from that experience, wisdom, in how best to make use of these unique technologies

Systems: Better, faster, safer systems are on the horizon thanks to much easier systems-level integration and interoperability. Operationally, performance and scalability will be at parity to more contemporary solutions. And underlying encryption and credentialing technologies will continue to improve, making for an increasingly frictionless implementation experience.

What is the HC-SIG working on currently? Any new developments to share? 

The Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG) is designed around the personal and professional interests of our international membership. We maintain two fundamental tiers of engagement to keep members informed of activities within and across the SIG:

  • HC-SIG General: Our “front door” to newer members joining the SIG, as well as a more cross-cutting view of the work that we do in our subgroups and ad hoc teams
  • Subgroups and Teams: Key to developing actionable solutions within this SIG,  each subgroup and team focuses on a special area of interest driven by their respective charter/mission statement

With that said, here’s a quick summary of the work being done across our HC-SIG subgroups and teams:

  • Patient/Member Subgroup: Developing patient-centric blockchain technologies solutions. A past solution focused around the implementation of a supply-chain solution developed around the safe distribution of donor milk across healthcare stakeholders. More recently, the subgroup is investigating patient-based access to longitudinal healthcare data.
  • Payer Subgroup: Focused around the payer component of the patient-payer-provider triad in healthcare. The subgroup is developing a white paper that defines a decision support workflow for the successful implementation of blockchain solutions.
  • Healthcare Interoperability Subgroup: Our newest subgroup, with plans to develop a proof-of-concept (POC) that takes a clinical use-case and integrates the policies, transactions and interoperable, clinical knowledge artifacts (assets) into a distributed solution.
  • Academic Research Team: Developing approaches to better present blockchain technologies to academic institutions such that healthcare stakeholders that rely upon and value independent, peer reviewed journals might gain a more objective and trusting understanding of these technologies
  • Use Case Development Team: Developing use cases within the context of the healthcare industry to model blockchain technologies implementation best practices

What’s the most important milestone for the Hyperledger HC-SIG to reach by the end of 2019? 

The HC-SIG exists to engage, educate, and interoperate with our membership. While the charters/mission statements of each of our HC-SIG subgroups and teams differ accordingly, growing and maturing our understanding of membership needs, and how best we might serve them, is fundamental and primary to our ongoing success as a worldwide community of healthcare professionals.

Why should someone participate in the group? Why is it important for Hyperledger to encourage collaboration around adopting blockchain technologies in this industry?

I’m often asked this question of “why should I participate?” and my answer is always this: active membership in the HC-SIG puts you in touch with the unprecedented resource of over 1,000 people around the world who are pre-filtered to have an active interest in healthcare technologies/IT, and then filtered again by their interests/knowledge in applying blockchain technologies to this industry. It’s really a pretty amazing group of professionals who come together every couple of weeks to help one another discuss and solve difficult problems in their respective healthcare communities.

What are a few ways people can participate in and contribute to the HC-SIG? 

As mentioned before, the HC-SIG is designed around the personal and professional interests of our membership. We provide many opportunities for focusing specific interests on blockchain technologies solutions in healthcare either through our HC-SIG subgroups or our ad hoc teams. And, in the spirit of a true open access, open source community, if members don’t see something that interests them, they have full authority and leadership support to develop a new subgroup or team that appeals to them. It’s almost a certainty that there will be others with similar interests who would love to participate in that new idea, whatever it may be.

How can people get involved in the HCSIG? 

This group is run as an open community effort and everyone is welcome to get involved.  The group has regular meetings, a mailing list and a chat channel. For each of these you are welcome to join, introduce yourself, ask questions and take part in the discussion.  There is no invitation necessary and you can simply follow the information on the group wiki to learn how to get involved in the calls, the list and the chat.

Photo credit: CB Bell Media