Hyperledger announced the newest members of its open source blockchain project, including two health IT companies, Ehave and CareiQ. Healthcare blockchain hopes to solve interoperability and data exchange issues.
Hyperledger announced the newest members of its open source blockchain project, including two health IT companies, Ehave and CareiQ. Healthcare blockchain hopes to solve interoperability and data exchange issues.
The Hyperledger team (and 40 of our members!) spent a good amount of time in New York for CoinDesk’s annual Consensus conference last week. It was a great event with tons of excitement and enthusiasm around blockchain and its many applications. Attendees were from all walks of life – from developers to architects to financial services professionals to healthcare specialists to investors – all trying to better understand the best and most practical use cases of the technology.
The event kicked off the weekend before with the Building Blocks Hackathon at 30 Rockefeller where many of the world’s top blockchain developers vied to build the next killer smart contract app. Participants could build on top of any blockchain protocol: bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger or otherwise. And through various sponsor challenges, they were encouraged to leverage the software and support made available by our world-class mentors in order to deliver projects.
Jonathan Levi, an active Hyperledger community member and the founder of HACERA, won 2 hackathon challenges using Hyperledger technology. They won the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance challenge and they were one of the winners of the Microsoft challenge. They called their solution Dutchess – a secure decentralized Chess on the blockchain that allows players to use ETH to pay for an unfair advantage in a sealed-bid Dutch auction. The entry highlighted Jonathan’s and HACERA’s approach of integrating multiple permissioned & public chains.
The result was a mini HACERA-like workflow that provided secure, auditable, privacy preserving, that prevents impersonation, relying on self-sovereign identity and offers a non-repudiation guarantee – with a playable fun game of Chess on a blockchain.
Early Monday, the Hyperledger team then set up shop on the 6th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Crowds of attendees stopped by each day to learn more about the technology.
At the booth several member companies gave demos on different Hyperledger projects including Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Iroha. Cloudsoft demonstrated Deploying Hyperledger Fabric on Kubernetes with Cloudsoft AMP. IBM showed Connect a Cloud, connecting organizations together on Hyperledger Fabric using hosted cloud providers of choice. Soramitsu ran a KYC/user identity demo of Hyperledger Iroha/Android app and video, and Byacco, a local digital currency currently in use at University of Aizu in Fukushima, Japan. IntellectEU together with their customer Telindus (Proximus Group) explained streamlined asset transactions through reconciliation, matching and resolution among multiple parties.
Hyperledger also hosted a Roundtable on Monday on its distributed ledger technologies, Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Iroha, each technology had end users speak to their different use cases. Kelly Olsen from Intel spoke to Sawtooth and his user, Pokitdok CTO, Ted Tanner weighed in on how they are utilizing Sawtooth in their healthcare blockchain solution. Makoto Takemiya, CEO, co-founder, Soramitsu discussed Hyperledger Iroha as a blockchain framework for mobile applications and Soichiro Takagi, from the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), International University of Japan shared his experience with the technology.
In addition to the robust line-up of Hyperledger activities in the main Consensus program and on the show floor, Hyperledger hosted a series of talks that ran all day Monday and Tuesday in the Hyperledger Mini Summit room. Attendees interested in how to best collaborate and get involved in the Hyperledger initiatives and learn where they can provide the most value had their bases covered in Monday’s “Meet the Hyperledger community” sessions. Speakers included the new technical staff, and diverse representation from the Technical Steering and Marketing committees, Governing Board, Identity Working Group and our fearless leader, Brian Behlendorf, Hyperledger’s executive director.
In Tuesday’s Hyperledger Mini Summit sessions, members dove a bit deeper into the impact of blockchain technologies on their businesses with field reports on how they are using Hyperledger to solve their business objectives. Attendees heard technical insights from Norbloc on the KYC process, IntellectEU together with their customer Telindus (Proximus Group) on streamlined asset transactions, as well as Cloudsoft on deploying and managing global blockchain networks.
Our members reinforced that blockchain is not only impacting business on a global scale, but also across industries through blockchain talks from Huawei on telecom, Daimler on the industrial enterprise, Deloitte on regulation, Energy Blockchain Labs on reversing China carbon emissions, and a panel of speakers from Accenture, BanQu and Leading Directions on blockchain for good applications.
Hyperledger hosted three different panels on Tuesday moderated by Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf and Security Maven, Dave Huseby. Those panels were “The Role of Open Source in Blockchain,” “Blockchain in the Wild, PoCs, Pilots & Deployments” and “Security, Privacy and the Enterprise Blockchain.”
The panels were very well attended and there was great discussion on all three topics. It was most interesting that identity on the blockchain turned out to be the main topic of conversation during the security and privacy panel. And on that note, we’re excited with Hyperledger Indy just recently getting accepted into incubation under Hyperledger. Indy provides tools, libraries, and reusable components for providing digital identities rooted on blockchains.
We ended Consensus with a member party atop a NYC hotel rooftop. It was such a pleasure to see everyone and we are extremely grateful for all the support our community has provided around this event and overall. We’re looking forward to next year’s event – we hope that you can join us!
For those interested in additional information about Hyperledger technologies please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, we encourage developers to join our efforts via GitHub, Rocket.Chat the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter.
Guest post: Sai Tejo Kiran E, Co-organizer, Hyperledger Hyderabad Meetup
The Hyperledger Hyderabad Meetup has been growing! Recently, we decided to have a combination of tech sessions and workshops combined with talks from meetup members who have implemented proof of concepts and built prototypes using Hyperledger. Blockchain is a revolutionary technology with the potential to disrupt the way things are currently functioning in many industries from financial services, to healthcare to technology. Specific to healthcare, blockchain has the potential to improve efficiency leading to massive cost reduction.
To give some perspective about the stakes at play for pharma companies, for every 10,000 molecules, just one of them becomes a drug. It takes about 10 years from the time a patent is awarded to the time the drug comes to the market. The process is marred by regulations, audit and compliance, data management etc. A patent is awarded for 20 years, so the scope for monetization is limited to about 8 years until it moves to the generics market and starts being sold it at low rates. So, in this context, if we can reduce the inefficiency in the go to market strategy and reduce the 12 years to 4-5 years, it is a big deal. Eventually it will lead to reduction in cost of the medicine.
A few weeks ago we had an Enterprise Architect from a major international pharma giant in Hyderabad give a talk pertaining to blockchain use cases in the healthcare sector. Below are specific use cases where the benefits of blockchain technology could help improve healthcare he discussed:
A patient could provide his medical history into the blockchain, enrich it with the EHR and make it accessible as and when required to the right stakeholders. Consent management using blockchain was a large topic at our last meetup. Enriching the EHR with personal health records from fitness devices/trackers and making it accessible to the doctors with the consent of the patient makes a case for better diagnosis of symptoms. Blockchain could give the control and meditation of data to the true actor, the owner of the data (patients in this case).
Blockchain could be used for inter-organizational record keeping (audit and compliance) since a lot of data movement happens between regulators, manufacturers, regulators etc. Data can go stale since a copy is maintained independently by all the players. Tracking the integrity of the content is an important aspect.
Imagine a clinical trial is going on and a patient is going to get some analysis done. The test data comes out as a lab report. Every lab report is maintained in a system managed by the pharma company. All the lab reports data is collated and is sent to the regulatory authorities to communicate the outcome. As part of audit and compliance, the authorities are not confident if the data is being tampered or not which might lead to mistrust. So the auditors visit the premises and validate the data. Blockchain could be a potential solution to improve this process. Every time a vital is collected and the data is taken can we create a hash and store it in the blockchain. Do this for all the patients. Share this with the authorities and send it with link to the hashes on the blockchain. If the data is being modified, then the hashes would not match which indicates discrepancy.
The other benefit which is an outcome of this process is that the data movement, access and ledger maintenance across lab Systems becomes smoother. This in turn will also lead to a process upgrade to the submission system for patent approval in addition to the Legal hold system on the data in case of disputes.
Blockchain based track and trace, improves provenance and traceability across the supply chain. Counterfeit medicine is a big issue pharma companies face in their everyday operations since there are many stakeholders involved in the supply chain. So the problem statement at hand is,“Can we track the medicine from the source to the destination, working with all the stakeholders using blockchain?” Recall of drugs and avoiding counterfeit drugs from entering into legit marketplaces will help in reducing the losses and improving service delivery to the end customer. Patient access programs also form a very important business proposition for pharma companies. Most of the companies conduct drives around vaccination programs and administer drugs free of cost. They are not running well due to lot of practical reasons involving multiple mediators. Blockchain could be used to maintain the entire supply chain in healthcare.
How is Hyperledger helping?
One of Hyperledger’s incubated projects, Hyperledger Composer, offers a set of APIs, a modeling language and a programming model to quickly define and deploy business networks and applications that allow participants to send transactions that exchange assets. It is more like an IDE tool like Eclipse, but specific to Hyperledger. It is useful for developers since they need to work with models and visuals and let the tool manage the underlying smart contracts and networks. Hyperledger Composer uses extensive, familiar and open development toolset. It is very useful for solution developers and looks at blockchain through three aspects:
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform healthcare, placing the patient at the center of the healthcare ecosystem and increasing the privacy and interoperability of health data. This technology could provide a new model for health information exchanges (HIE) by making electronic medical records more secure by removing the need for multiple intermediaries.
With greater transparency, trust, and access to data, stakeholders can then also garner insights for better safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of drugs, vaccines, and medical devices. The promise of blockchain has widespread implications for stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. While it is not a solution for all the health care technology issues, this new, rapidly evolving field provides fertile ground for experimentation, investment, and proof-of-concept testing showing good promise in terms of impact.
For those interested particularly in healthcare and blockchain, please join the Hyperledger Healthcare Working Group here. You can also plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. Be sure to follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: email@example.com.
Hyperledger announced the first health IT company to join its collaborative blockchain project. Change Healthcare joined as a Premier Member and will work with other Hyperledger project members to help develop healthcare blockchain technology.
The 140-member group includes organizations across major industries such as healthcare, finance, Internet of Things (IoT), and aeronautics.
Along with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, blockchain has rapidly risen to become one of the healthcare industry’s most talked-about technologies.
The distributed ledger methodology promises to create an unprecedented level of accuracy, privacy, and security for healthcare stakeholders, offering an innovative new way to ensure robust data integrity while giving patients more control over their own data.
When healthcare experts talk about data integrity, they’re not just thinking about whether or not the original authors filled in all the fields and ticked all the boxes. They are talking about trust.
Completeness is one small piece of the trust puzzle, but accuracy, consistency and responsibility – who created it, why, when, and how – are also critical for ensuring that information is reliable and useful for decision-making.
The Hyperledger team recently attended HIMSS in Orlando, Florida. More than 40,000+ people joined us in learning more about the role of technology and IT in healthcare. Hyperledger was there to lend a vendor-neutral, “open source software-first” voice to the rapidly-advancing discussion in healthcare about how to leverage blockchain technologies. Really this meant we were there to listen, facilitate introductions, educate when we had a specific point of view and, ultimately, advance the readiness of healthcare professionals and organizations to get started with blockchain.
HIMSS kicked off with a keynote speech by IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty. Ginni shared her belief that to be successful in this new era of computing, companies will need to have clear strategies on AI, cloud and big data. She led on to say that within all of that, transparency, accountability and trust will become even more important, if not demanded. Ginny then spoke to blockchain, its affect on the industry and mentioned Hyperledger as a consortium leading the governance and community development around blockchain technologies for business.
Hyperledger set up shop in the Innovation Zone at the enormous Orange County Convention Center. Those who visited us at our kiosk wanted to know what blockchain was, Hyperledger’s role in the market, how blockchain could be applied to healthcare and what some of the opportunities or challenges might be.
Across the way from us in the Innovation Zone were our friends at Hashed Health, a member company focused on accelerating blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in healthcare. They brought along a demo of a provider directory that they built using Hyperledger Fabric, one of the three blockchain frameworks in incubation at Hyperledger, and when attendees wanted a solid example of how blockchain worked, we sent them their way. A few other members companies that attended included Accenture, Gem, and IBM.
A major focal point for Hyperledger at HIMSS was IEEE’s sold out Rock Stars of Blockchain event. Morning sessions grounded the 200+ attendees with the basics of blockchain tech and it’s applicability to healthcare. Speakers hit themes like interoperability, breaking down silos, increasing patient control while streamlining expensive and time consuming processes, providing holistic, longitudinal views to health.
After a great introduction from Conduent’s Tamara StClaire on the basics of blockchain and its promise in healthcare, Abbie Barbir from Aetna gave an excellent talk about the use cases for blockchain in healthcare. Mr Barbir shared this conceptualization of a blockchain-based ID vetting system.
Next, Dr. Jon White and Steve Posnack from ONC shared the work their team has been doing to support and stimulate the adoption of EHR and lately on exploring the uses of blockchain in healthcare. They of course referenced last year’s Blockchain Challenge on ONC Lab. And one really can’t talk about the ONC challenge without discussing the winning MedRec paper.
At lunch, Hyperledger sponsored a hands-on workshop for healthcare professionals charged with spearheading their organization’s lab, PoC and pilot use of blockchain technology. The lunch and learn used the recent Hyperledger Healthcare working group survey as the jumping off point to explore popular industry use cases.
Much more participation than presentation, the ~30 participants included physicians, vendors, payers, consultants and other HC pros. Over the 90-minutes, participants worked at their tables on MVPs for popular healthcare blockchain use cases and discussed the roadblocks that might prevent a PoC. For a full output report, and to join the discussion, check out the Hyperledger Healthcare page and join the healthcare working group email list.
After lunch, Hyperledger Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf moderated a panel with Cerner, IBM and IEEE on the impact of blockchain on connected health. Panelists shared what each are doing with blockchain technology for healthcare and general thoughts on the subject.
They then covered confidentiality and patient privacy, exploring such questions as how to deal with private data in a blockchain, how blockchain will change the patient experience, and what regulatory hurdles must be overcome.
Some panelists expressed confidence that blockchain technology has the features to transform healthcare, much like other technologies before. Like other approaches, what must not be overlooked with blockchain are all the other environmental factors in healthcare, such as regulation, business models and having a complete architectural design. Others were more bullish about the role blockchain will play to place patients in more control over their data and their healthcare experience.
After the panel, Brian and Gem CEO, Micah Winkelspecht held a fireside chat, exploring some of the key questions that had emerged throughout the day.
Dr. John Mattison from Hyperledger member, Kaiser Permanente closed the day out with a talk on Defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with Blockchain in Healthcare: Challenges and opportunities.
We are very excited that blockchain conversations in healthcare are picking up, we’re learning more and more about POCs and pilots and there is a lot of interest in Hyperledger. If you’re interested in how blockchain can work in healthcare, want to join the discussion further, or have specific questions about Hyperledger, we encourage you to join our Healthcare Working Group here: https://www.hyperledger.org/industries/healthcare.
It would be diplomatic to say that the rise of open standards and APIs in the healthcare industry has yet to truly pay off in the form of better widespread patient data portability, reduced complexity in the systems behind payments and claims, better quality metrics and outcomes, or better automation of menial paperwork or other manual process. Our health IT systems are only getting more and more silo-ed and disintegrated, and there’s always a new venture-backed SaaS provider or software vendor who just wants to solve that by centralizing (er, “vertically integrating”) all data and processes on their systems, adding to the problem rather than solving it. The client-server model for applications just doesn’t work for an industry as complex, heterogenous, and political as healthcare. Could blockchain technology be helpful here?
Healthcare organizations are utilizing more electronic data than ever before, and many are working toward interoperability and connecting to HIEs. Data security measures cannot be an afterthought, and must be a top priority as covered entities work to remain innovative and properly care for patients.
Blockchain technology is quickly becoming an option for healthcare, as it gives the ability for entities to organize data so transactions can be verified and recorded through the consensus of all parties involved.
Game theory is the science of strategy. A branch of mathematics and economics that explores strategic situations across multiple stakeholders with different goals, whose actions can affect one another. Pioneering companies are changing the game with blockchain technologies. The new game of consumer interactions redefines transparency, immutability and security across industries.