US Health Insurance Giant Piloting Blockchain to Secure Medical Data

Anthem, the second-largest health insurance company in the U.S., plans to use blockchain technology to secure medical data for its 40 million members.

Anthem, the second-largest health insurance company in the United States plans to use blockchain technology to secure medical data of all 40 million members over the next three years.

On Dec. 12, Forbes reported that Anthem plans to use blockchain technology to give patients secure access to their medical data, while also giving them the possibility to share that data as they see fit. Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux said at the 8th Annual Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York:

“What blockchain potentially gives us the opportunity to do is not worry about those trust issues. We have an opportunity now to share data that people can make their own decisions on.”

The company is currently running a pilot test to smaller groups of members, who can use a mobile app to scan a QR code, and instantly allow different healthcare providers to access their health records for a limited amount of time. Anthem chief digital officer Rajeev Ronanki said:

“We think it’s a pretty transformative thing for health […] We’re essentially creating a permission-based system that would allow consumers to own their healthcare data, and then make it available to providers as appropriate.”

Anthem reportedly plans to roll out the new blockchain-based system in several phases beginning in 2020. 

Cointelegraph contacted Anthem regarding these latest developments but had yet to receive a response as of press time. This article will be updated if new comments come in.

Anthem partnered with insurance giant Aetna, PNC Bank and IBM

At the beginning of the year Anthem partnered with health insurance giant Aetna, PNC Bank and IBM to create a blockchain network tailored to the healthcare industry. Chris Ward, an executive at PNC Bank’s treasury management unit, said at the time that implementing a blockchain solution can remove the friction, duplication and administrative costs that continue to plague the healthcare industry.

Hospitals, health insurers and other industry professionals continue to explore blockchain technology and the benefits it delivers for sharing, securing and streamlining sensitive health-related data.