Is Blockchain the Next Big Thing for Healthcare?
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Remember the Winkleveii? The aggrieved Harvard twins of Facebook fame? They’re in the news again, this time as the “first Bitcoin billionaires.” Moneywatch reported in December that their collective $11 million investment in Bitcoin in 2013 was valued at more than $1.7 billion.
So what does Bitcoin have to do with healthcare? Or digital marketing? Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain, has attracted the attention of innovators in both fields, as well as in other industries — banking, online music, and real estate, to name a few.
What’s so breakthrough about blockchain? What problems could it potentially solve? How revolutionary is it? And what is its potential in healthcare? Here we’ll attempt to explain blockchain in layman’s language, and look at examples of blockchain-enabled innovations in the works that target two challenges:
- Patient data — The toughest nut to crack in healthcare, and the one with the greatest potential to improve it, is access to accurate and comprehensive patient data.
- Online advertising — Ad fraud is endemic in programmatic ad buying. Last year, CNBC reported that businesses could lose $16.4 billion to online advertising fraud.