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RED HOT Contributors


Episode 36 – Blockchain…Please Save Health Care


Blockchain is a technology rumbling fast and furious into the business world. Many experts believe this will go beyond disruptive, creating entirely new foundations for the global economic and social systems.

For many Blockchain a term with growing popularity that is often misunderstood.

That’s going to end right here…because Dr. Steve is not only going to not only bring you the easiest explanation of this incredibly powerful technology, but he will clear up popular misconceptions about it AND bitcoin.

Plus, learn the 5 major areas of health care that will be significantly changed when Blockchain technology truly arrives!

This podcast episode carries a number of in-depth insights, including:

  • The strange beginnings of bitcoin
  • Turning a $500 investment into $20 Million
  • Why it makes great sense to keep sensitive data across millions of personal computers
  • How Blockchain has the ability to transcend mere disruptive technology and set the foundation to solve some of the biggest challenges in health care today
  • Why companies like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft cannot invest fast enough!

The following is a short snippet from this engaging podcast where Dr. Steve explains and goes deep in Blockchain and health care.

DR. STEVE: “And of course the big trick is keeping companies profitable…because our healthcare system is largely for-profit. So if payment amounts will be decreasing from payers per value-based care – healthcare and drug companies will need to see MORE patients and LOWER costs.

Let’s remember that blockchain is the distributed ledger technology. So any blockchain solutions for healthcare will need to take the form of applications built on top of blockchain. Like cloud services such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure…

The big companies such as Microsoft and IBM are already developing their powerful enterprise versions of Blockchain, making it easy that developers can build on them.

So with that, here is where Blockchain is likely to, over time, make some tremendous differences in health care:

Area 1 – Interoperability – according to many hospital administrators, care coordination is the number 1 issue affecting patient satisfaction…not to mention mitigating risk and improving care outcomes.

Managing EHR data with trusted, time-stamped changes, makes blockchain ideally suited to not only add new information on patients, but to have patients actually own and control the flow and sharing of that data.

Interoperability means more than just EHRs speaking to another another. True interoperability would also be means solving for trust issues included within patient identification, patient consent for services/agreement on fees/drug trials/research, provider user authorization, and even monitoring and discovering billing fraud.

Also important would be the ease for patients and providers to join a decentralized ledger database. Special agreements and legal ‘pipes’ would not have to be constructed like they are today – often on a B-2-B basis, between particular hospital chains, medical device companies, post-acute care facilities, drug companies, labs, and research facilities.

Lastly, we begin to look at blockchain technology with its trusted patient and provider data, being able to catalyze the transition from disease care to wellness. Because blockchain is online, secure, and takes in trusted data, blockchain database could easily include and be integrated with a patient’s lifestyle, mhealth, and the growing IoT environment.

I’ve said it before – patients have an inherent responsibility to help our healthcare system. Their choices toward health lifestyle, including eating, exercise, medication adherence, etc. should be included – especially if we are dealing with a value-based, risk-sharing model.”


 I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Steve Ambrose on a podcast that covered a range of topics in healthcare information technology. The podcast logistics – communications, interview questions, scheduling and production – were every well managed.
A great experience that I would do again in an instance.

Dr. John Glaser
SVP, Population Health at CERNER

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