CDC & IBM To Launch a Trial Blockchain for Managing Medical Data

CDC & IBM To Launch a Trial Blockchain for Managing Medical Data

The initiative with America’s FDA is testing a new blockchain-based platform that gathers clinical trials, electronic medical records and other health data.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come together with IBM Watson Health in an agreement that will see the two conduct research on the use of blockchain in storage and exchange of medical data. Based on a report presented by Fast Company, the partnership was revealed by IBM’s chief science officer, Shahram Ebadollahi, during an event hosted on Monday.

Ebadollahi further stated that the venture is an extension of the tech giant’s research initiative with America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is already underway. The initiative with FDA, which was announced earlier this year, is aimed at trying out a new blockchain-based platform through which clinical trials, electronic medical records and other health data gathered from wearable devices can be conveniently shared. Blockchain is a hypersecure distributed ledger technology which was initially developed to aid in cryptocurrency transactions. Its integration into the healthcare sector can lead to more fluidity in data ecosystems, as highlighted in Fast Company report.

Ebadollahi was also keen to note that the extension of the work IBM Watson Health has been doing with CDC is based on exploring owner-mediated data with the help of blockchain.

It’s without doubt that CDC has interacted a lot with technology in its operations. The organization, which operates within U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is mainly tasked with the responsibility of preventing and responding to disease outbreaks. It is only last month that CoinDesk reported that CDC is looking at the tech (blockchain) as way of capturing critical information during crisis in a more effective manner.

The HHS is among U.S. government departments that are exploring the use of blockchain. They are particularly interested in discovering the tech’s potential in medical administration and other public-sector functions. With these vibrant partnerships and research testing on medical technologies by IBM Watson Health and CDC, we’ll only wait and see how the results play out.