patients receive treatment every year in Chinese medical institutions
From January to November 2016, the total number of visits to national medical institutions in China was 7.09 billion - 2.95 billion of them being made in hospitals. Considering that there are over 29,000 hospitals in China, this means that each hospital has to provide treatment and care to 100,000 patients per year. Combined to the Government limited investments, this situation leads to an increasing work pressure for doctors and nurses and a decrease in quality of the national medical services. Furthermore, there is a huge shortage in nursing staff in most Chinese hospitals, which forces many doctors to do some ‘basic’ but time-consuming tasks - such as data collection - and leads to further waste of professional resources. In 2016, as the national public health information system faced two cyber attacks, the Chinese government and some of the top Chinese hospitals decided to try new technologies to overcome their challenges. They started cooperate with fintech company, Radarwin, to develop a standardized medical record system using blockchain technology.
Using this technology to handle medical information could be interesting on many levels. First, the blockchain technology would enable a patient to be in full control to his/er medical record, as the use of encryption and cryptographic keys prevents the medical records of the patient from being sold or saved in other databases with improper purposes. It also empowers them with the use of their personal data since when patients will receive a request to view their medical records, they will have to decide whether or not to authorize it. Only when both stakeholders will validate the request, the document will be shared. On the medical institutions' side, the technology is valuable as the medical information will be centralized. The new medical system would also allow other institutions such as insurance companies and home care communities to access the data with the permission of patients, which establish a cooperating platform for patients, hospitals and other institutions. Meanwhile, a larger ecosystem can be founded on the blockchain medical system.
- 4 min
For the patients, the system can be linked with their smartphone, PC, TV and IoT equipments. Homecare communities, medical security system, service providers, disease control department and other organizations will be able to be involved in this ecosystem. The key value of blockchain is to build up the trust between people who do not know or trust each other. Considering that doctor-patient relationship is getting increasingly tense in China, the blockchain may be the solution to these social issues.