With the announcement of Gem Health, Gem is continuing their impressive growth in delivering blockchain platforms for smart networks.
Gem has always made it clear that they consider healthcare to be an attractive target for their solutions. With this announcement they have taken a large step towards building a "blockchain network for global healthcare." The goal is for the group to build a data infrastructure capable of supporting worldwide connectivity for healthcare. Gem has signaled that this will include a community driven educational element. The group also plans to lean on Ethereum for the infrastructure for private healthcare networks.
Regarding Gem Health, Micah Winkelspecht the founder and CEO of Gem, said:
Blockchain technology will create a new fabric that connects the entire healthcare industry, weaving together critical data from every stage of the continuum of care.
The applicability of blockchain technology within healthcare has been a topic of conversation for years within the tech community. Although patient data is the key element to effective and measured healthcare practices, much of this information is fragmented and disjointed. Blockchain has emerged as a solution to keep information reliably documented and easily referenced all under the encryption that the technology can offer.
Winkelspecht continued, "Blockchains address the trade-off between data availability and data security. For healthcare, this enables hospitals, insurance companies and labs to connect in real-time and share information instantly and seamlessly – without exposing those channels to theft or forgery."
As Winkelspecht states, the underlying issue with all things healthcare related has historically been allowing expedited accessibility to records while maintaining strict privacy standards. This could be quite a feat in the heat of the moment in an Emergency Room. Yet by allowing access through tokens and the ilk that blockchain can provide, we just may be a step closer.
Gem provides the following use case, "For example, blockchains can establish open standards for data recording and identity management. A global healthcare blockchain can record unique patient IDs for each individual that correlates with local hospital or physician records. Blockchain-based universal healthcare IDs can reduce medical errors when onboarding a new patient while maintaining patient privacy."
The launch of Gem Health coincides with the first official partnership the company has obtained within the healthcare space. Philips' Blockchain Lab is now enrolled and ready to build with the group, and as such, has committed serious resources to the space. It will be exciting to track this partnership as it evolves.
Certainly blockchain could fit a variety of different applications that are currently obvious, however, Gem gets this game. It is not about simply providing "plug and play" solutions. Gem is building an infrastructure that they will eventually leverage as healthcare moves to more IoT solutions. This is an important point that often times we forget. The winners and losers in blockchain will be defined by their ability to see past the immediate application.
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