Blockchain for Health Data

It’s a high time for healthcare and Information technology, Due to improvements in genetic research and the advancement of precision medicine, health care is witnessing an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that incorporates an individual patient’s genetic makeup, lifestyle and environment. Simultaneously, IT advancement has produced large databases of health information, provided tools to track health data and engaged individuals more in their own health care. Combining these advancements in health care and information technology would foster transformative change in the field of health IT.
Blockchain technology has the potential to address the interoperability challenges currently present in health IT systems and to be the technical standard that enables individuals, health care providers, health care entities and medical researchers to securely share electronic health data.

Blockchain Model – Health Care

Any blockchain for health care would need to be public and would also need to include technological solutions for these elements: Quantifiable, Access Data – privacy and Security.


A distributed blockchain that contains health records, documents or images would have data storage implications and data throughput limitations. If modeled after the Bitcoin blockchain, every member in the distributed network of the health care blockchain would have a copy of every health record for every individual and this would not be practical from a data storage perspective. Because health data is dynamic and expansive, replicating all heath records to every member in the network would be bandwidth intensive, wasteful on network resources and pose data throughput concerns. For health care to realize benefits from blockchain, the blockchain would need to function as an access-control manager for health records and data.

Access Data – privacy and Security

The user would have full access to his data and control over how his data would be shared. The user would assign a set of access permissions and designate who can query and write data to his blockchain. A mobile dashboard application would allow the user to see who has permission to access his blockchain. The user would also be able to view an audit log of who accessed his blockchain, including when and what data was accessed. The same dashboard would allow the user to give and revoke access permissions to any individual who has a unique identifier.
Access control permissions would be flexible and would handle more than “all-or-nothing” permissions. The user would setup specific, detailed transactions about who has access, the allotted time frame for access and the particular types of data that can be accessed. At any given time the user may alter the set of permissions. Access control policies would also be securely stored on a blockchain and only the user would be allowed to change them. This provides an environment of transparency and allows the user to make all decisions about what data is collected and how the data can be shared.