Healthcare IT in 30 seconds
As of 2017
- 78% of US medical providers report using a Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
- There are over 1000 EMRs in use today
- Most EMRs have no meaningfully way to exchange protected health information (PHI) with each other.
- The current healthcare economic model does produce ROI from interoperability. Interoperability and informed patient consent are the keys to transparency of a Patient's total wellness.
- Patients not providers own their data, yet they are unable to systematically exercise that control.
Our hypothesis - healthcare record management today presents as a decentralized problem, one that primed to leverage a decentralized technology platform of ethereum. Missing from the ethereum ecosystem are healthcare specific solution sets. ShareMD aims to bring the power of blockchain to healthcare without requiring ethereum specific knowledge.
What it does
We set out to wrap the ethereum ecosystem with a set of simple RESTful APIs for healthcare. We started by solving for the most fundamental building block - a patient must consent to.... Then provided a secure means to exchange data, governed by a patient's explicit consent.
To demonstrate, we built a sample wizard app that would be embedded in a patient portal where: Patient uses the wizard to create a share contract authorizes the source provider to share specific types of protected health data with destination provider for a set period of time.
In that same app we demonstrate how a source provider creates a one time use transmission contract that is governed by the permissions granted by the share contract. The transmission contract generates 1 time use cypher to protect the transmission payload that my only be decrypted by the destination provider .
destination provider would have a third application or service that gives them the ability to acknowledge receipt, download and decrypt the information shared, all in a automated fashion. We made a POC of this feature within the demo application.
How we built it
Our focus was to make ethereum accessible via simple set of RESTful APIs for healthcare. Our audience for these APIs are EMRs and other healthcare applications. After building the initial APIs, we built a simple application to step through the 3 user agents of the api.
patient - wizard to create a smart share contract launched from within a patient portal
source provider - create a transmission contract to share information securely base on governance of patient share contract
destination provider - retrieve, decrypt and acknowledge receipt of information sent by source provider
Challenges we ran into
It was difficult to reduce the functionality into two smart contracts. We also had trouble using the capsule feature of NUCypher, decrypt for receiving provider still needs work.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In a handful of RESTful API calls, anyone could use ethereum. Our services are true blockchain, even if we loose our DB we can rebuild it with etherscan.
What we learned
We confirmed that ethereum is now ready for industry specific applications to be built and that by providing a battery of problem specific utilities, we can remove the barrier to entry for healthcare.
What's next for ShareMD
We are so encourage by our POC, we want to keep going and make ShareMD available to the healthcare industry. We will take the POC and extend the functionality to cover most of the patient centric authorizations, consents and disclosures. Look for a white paper in the next 120 days.