Health tech firm plans to consolidate medical records on blockchain

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Individuals, doctors, and insurance companies may soon be able to access and track their and their patients’ medical histories in an app via a single, consolidated, and secure blockchain technology-based system.

Photo shows (from left): Oliver Chato, head of blockchain, application, and systems integration; Jojy Azurin, founder and CEO; and Romel John Santos, head of blockchain applications architect and UI/UX

Representatives of health technology firm MediXserve announced plans to achieve this during its Media Kapihan at the Dome Café in Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong on October 12.

“Imagine an app where you can now see all your medical records from all the doctors that you’ve consulted with, all the hospitals that you’ve been confined [in], since the day you were born,” said MediaXserve chief executive officer (CEO) Jojy Azurin. “That’s the app that we’re wishing to finally happen.”

These records include laboratory tests, x-rays, and other images. When entered into the blockchain, they form streamlined medical histories which are permanent, immutable, and trackable.

The technology also works for patients who receive consultation and treatment abroad as MediXserve’s blockchain system may be accessed by hospitals overseas and vice versa.

The system therefore eliminates the need for an individual to physically go from one doctor to another, from one hospital to another, to get or access his records. All of these lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis, more efficient decision-making, lower costs, and greater convenience.

For this purpose, MediXserve will be using a blockchain technology that is not public. Called the Hyperledger Fabric, it is an open-source private blockchain developed by IBM. Simply put, Hyperledger is a permission-based distributed ledger unlike public blockchains.

“Everyone who is participating in the [blockchain] economy has a copy of the ledger,” explained Azurin. “So it’s also distributed but it’s not public.”

This dovetails with the Data Privacy Act which states that legal ownership of data and records belongs to the individual.

The company is also giving out tokens or points to individuals, doctors, and others who access the records using the app. When they accumulate a certain amount of tokens, they receive freebies such as quick payment of claims to doctors, free access to MediXserve’s 24/7 telemedicine service, and others. App users may also use these tokens to pay for their medicines and to pay their doctors.

Telemedicine and teleconsultation services constitute the company’s MediXcare product. Its other products and components are MediXhome which provides home-service laboratory testing, LiFEDATA Systems which provides subscription-based patient-centric mobile electronic medical records (EMRs) and mobile lifestyle apps, and SHINE which is a multi-awarded cloud-based system of EMRs. SHINE is also built on blockchain and has more than 250,000 EMRs.

MediXserve has also partnered with the Ateneo de Manila University to establish the country’s first university-based blockchain research and incubation center to be called the Ateneo-MediXserve Blockchain and Education Research Labs.

With offices in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Egypt aside from the Philippines, the company is setting its sights on developing markets whose healthcare expenditures are valued at $4T. In the Philippines alone, healthcare costs amount to P427B. This number is expected to rise to P1.2T by 2022.

“It’s a very huge market that we can improve on,” Azurin said.

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