Applications and Use Cases

HIMSS Joins Blockchain Research Institute to Drive Healthcare Innovation


May 31, 2019

There’s no question blockchain is poised to impact business in many markets – perhaps every industry.  When you look at the activity we’ve already seen in the financial sector and the food industry, there are clear operational benefits that blockchain-based systems are already delivering.  The question many are still asking, even as live projects like IBM’s Food Trust continue to grow, is what is blockchain’s potential to disrupt business models.

It’s one of several questions the Blockchain Research Institute set out to answer when it was founded in 2017:

  • How will this technology transform specific industries?
  • What are the true challenges and limitations facing blockchain’s development today, and how can they be overcome?
  • How will it change the nature of corporations and the management of companies?
  • What will it mean for government architecture and the creation of public value?
  • How could it help to solve such global problems as climate change?

BRI refers to itself as “a global, independent think-tank. We identify the strategic implications and opportunities of blockchain for business, government and society.”  Its membership includes brands from most major industries, all helping drive research to spur innovation and create the kind of disruption the blockchain community projects it will deliver.

While other sectors have thus far dominated the blockchain headlines, healthcare remains among key beneficiaries as blockchain projects make their way into different segments of the healthcare ecosystem.  The latest member to join BRI – and underscore blockchain’s potential in healthcare – is HIMSS, the global healthcare IT organization leading efforts to drive better care using technology. 

Already engaged in understanding the potential uses for blockchain, HIMSS recently reported that 45 percent of healthcare stakeholders it surveyed indicated their organizations are already learning about blockchain.  While that’s still less than half, much of the healthcare industry is still in the throes of understanding how to build a new value-based healthcare delivery model through connected health.

As those initiatives continue to build momentum, blockchain interest will also undoubtedly increase as organizations seek to ensure patient data privacy and security, while making it available to all parties that need it, including providers, patients, and payers.  The continued emergence and evolution of digitized healthcare are tailor-made for blockchain, considering the sensitivity of health data.

As part of BRI, HIMSS has positioned itself as a champion for blockchain projects across the industry and to drive blockchain education, program development, and regulatory reform within its sphere of influence.  All of this is necessary to develop real use cases that address specific problems across various use categories, including digital identity management, finance and insurance, clinical research and data access and monetization, and healthcare supply chain management.

Development and implementation of blockchain projects and specific use cases may be more challenging in healthcare than in many other industries due the need to comply with many regulatory requirements and the many different participants in any patient’s healthcare journey.  Through collaboration with BRI and its other members, HIMSS will seek to leverage experience from existing projects and best practices to provide an easier roadmap for its industry.

The 5th edition of The Blockchain Event, taking place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, February 12-14, 2020, will look at how blockchain is impacting healthcare and many other industries, and explore how businesses can create value through their blockchain projects and continue to build a new digital world.  If you’re interested in hearing your experiences with blockchain, The Blockchain Event would like to hear from you.


Edited by Erik Linask

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