Blockchain vehicles for efficient Medical Record management

NPJ Digit Med. 2020 Jan 6:3:1. doi: 10.1038/s41746-019-0211-0. eCollection 2020.


The lack of interoperability in Britain's medical records systems precludes the realisation of benefits generated by increased spending elsewhere in healthcare. Growing concerns regarding the security of online medical data following breaches, and regarding regulations governing data ownership, mandate strict parameters in the development of efficient methods to administrate medical records. Furthermore, consideration must be placed on the rise of connected devices, which vastly increase the amount of data that can be collected in order to improve a patient's long-term health outcomes. Increasing numbers of healthcare systems are developing Blockchain-based systems to manage medical data. A Blockchain is a decentralised, continuously growing online ledger of records, validated by members of the network. Traditionally used to manage cryptocurrency records, distributed ledger technology can be applied to various aspects of healthcare. In this manuscript, we focus on how Electronic Medical Records in particular can be managed by Blockchain, and how the introduction of this novel technology can create a more efficient and interoperable infrastructure to manage records that leads to improved healthcare outcomes, while maintaining patient data ownership and without compromising privacy or security of sensitive data.

Keywords: Health care; Information technology.

Publication types

  • Review