Future of blockchain in healthcare: potential to improve the accessibility, security, and interoperability of electronic health records

NA-SM-Blockchain in Healthcare


The lack of accessibility to medical records for both patients and clinicians has long been recognised as a barrier to transparent and efficient healthcare. While electronic health record (EHR) systems help address this issue somewhat, many of these systems are heterogeneous, demonstrate varying success integrating into clinical workflows and exhibit minimal interoperability between platforms. Accordingly, many EHR systems in their present state struggle to deliver fundamental benefits of digital technology such as a streamlined user experience, data sharing capabilities and advanced analytics. This lack of interoperability becomes increasingly challenging as complex patients present to a variety of care providers in different healthcare jurisdictions with various EHR systems. A blockchain-based system is one possible solution conferring several benefits that could be exploited for data federation. That said, blockchain remains a nascent technology and there are key technical, regulatory and institutional barriers that limit its full potential in medicine.

Authors: Shaun Mehta, Kiran Grant, Alun Ackery

Planning/ Thinking stage