KHU Dental Hospital to start using blockchain in March 2018
A chip off the old blockchain.
Kyung Hee University Dental Hospital (KHUDH), the third-largest dental hospital in Korea, has reached a partnership with MediBloc, a cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions provider that's focused on the medical industry.
MediBloc aims to:
- Allow patients their own access and control over confidential medical information.
- Reduce the cost of treatment by minimising the chances of undergoing unnecessary procedures or being tested unnecessarily.
- Promote a higher standard of medical care by improving efficiency and information communication between all parties.
- Allow patients to monetise their own medical data as desired through a token system.
The partnership between MediBloc and KHUDH will lead to blockchain-based systems launching in March 2018. At the same time KHUDH is implementing a more comprehensive dental examination system, in which patients are also examined for facial bone-related and soft tissue-related dental issues.
MediBloc isn't the only blockchain for teeth, but the partnership's March launch date means it might be one of the quicker projects to market.
More comprehensive dental examinations are one example of how blockchain technology can improve the quality of medical care. Having a reliable and compliant way of securely digitising and storing the results of the examinations, while still making the data available where needed, makes it considerably more cost-effective for KHUDH to start using these screening procedures.
It minimises the chance of the same patient getting the same detailed examination multiple times, and allows for more use of information gleaned from the exams. This decreases the total cost of doing these comprehensive exams, while increasing the benefits.
"Kyung Hee University Dental Hospital will be the first hospital in South Korea to provide comprehensive dental check-up service that covers not only the teeth-related examination but also facial bone-related and soft tissue-related examinations. This comprehensive check-up service will be available through Kyung Hee Dental Examination Center, which will be officially launched on March 2018. MediBloc’s healthcare data platform will be used in the hospital’s services to give back patients their own private medical records." said MediBloc.
The long term benefits of getting patients into the MediBloc system are also important for improving the quality and reducing the lifetime costs of medical and dental care.
This may provide a commercial advantage for MediBloc, which gets to be the first in the industry to get a chance to compile patient information on its blockchain.
"In addition, the two partners will progress step-by-step in their development cooperation to connect all KHUDH’s patient dental records with the MediBloc database and service. This is expected to become the world’s first blockchain-based and patient-centric medical record sharing service in the field of dentistry."
The new facility at KHUDH, the Kyung Hee Dental Examination Centre, will also maximise the benefits of the MediBloc solution through the use of dental x-rays, CT scanners, 3D panorama devices and "other high-tech medical apparatuses".
It looks like the information collected will be extremely detailed, potentially opening up other applications in the future. For example, allowing for a database of dental records to identify missing persons, information on facial bone structure to aid facial reconstruction surgery, and probably some less grim applications too.
"We are at a point in time when privacy must be guaranteed and patients must have the right and the resources to make autonomous decisions," said Sang Min Park, head professor of family medicine at Seoul National University. "MediBloc's innovative solution will lead to new changes to the medical ecosystem in this regard."
MediBloc's system of securing information is similar to that employed by other cryptocurrencies. It allows patients to control their own medical data through an app, and monetise it if desired.
For example, they can choose to show only the relevant information as required for each procedure, or might sell anonymised types of information, such as the medications they currently take, to researchers conducting a survey.
This is similar to the information protection systems used by coins such as Civic.
"Data interoperability through MediBloc will reduce unnecessary medical procedures and save patients’ time and money. MediBoc brings complete patient health autonomy: helping doctors provide better care, better diagnosis and ultimately a better, more personalised healthcare experience." says the MediBloc website.