Netherlands-based Royal Philips technology company has already devoted a lot of time to distributed ledgers and blockchain study. Now it decided that blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, needs more considerable effort. Philips Healthcare, company’s subdivision, has launched the Blockchain Research Lab where Philips IT experts, healthcare professionals, partners and blockchain developers will cooperate to research and explore potential use cases using the innovative cryptographic technology.
Philips Healthcare, which is one of the three main divisions of Amsterdam-based Philips, is committed to bring innovations that enhance the quality of care and improve people’s lives. Apart from the Netherlands, it has branches in Germany, Finland, Israel and the USA.
“Beginning in 2016, the Philips Blockchain Lab was established following six months of exploratory research into blockchain technology” – says the official website. The Blockchain Research Lab is located at the company’s headquarters in Amsterdam. Philips specialists are intended to brainstorm and prototype a variety of blockchain-based solutions and use cases of the novel technology.
It is not the first time that Philips expresses intention to study and apply blockchain. In October 2015 it teamed up with the blockchain startup Tierion to investigate the technology behind bitcoin and its possible applications in the healthcare sector. Tierion offers a simple way of collecting information and storing it in the bitcoin blockchain to help its clients to protect their data by offering. With the new partnership, Philips Healthcare expects to accelerate the process of modernizing patient health care.
Philips comes out into the open about its interest in cutting-edge technologies: “As a company committed to innovation you need to constantly explore new and emerging technologies and their application in areas where they might have an impact and added value.”
Indeed, healthcare services providers invest thousands of dollars annually to manage patient records. But despite all the work that has already been done, we still face problems with recording medical data. An access to patient information is usually limited only to the hospital network, which increases the risk of hacker attacks. In this regard blockchain is that very technology with the potential to improve security and privacy of electronic medical information.
With the help of blockchain all patients can be provided a private key and a multi-sig address in order to access their records stored on the distributed ledger. Thus hospitals will not only be able to save money from managing electronic records – they will also enable patients to select the healthcare provider they would like to share their data with.
The blockchain technology could significantly improve the health care industry as it provides a great solution to recording data. While being totally transparent, the technology will help to keep patient information confidential at any time.