Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corp., PNC Bank, and IBM have announced a new collaboration to design and create a network using blockchain technology to improve transparency and interoperability in the healthcare industry. The aim is to create an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a secure, shared environment. It is planned that the blockchain network will enable healthcare companies to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation in the industry.
According to the companies, despite initiatives to digitize healthcare information, major improvements in transparency and interoperability among various groups in the healthcare system are still necessary. By reducing administrative errors and friction through the application of blockchain technology, healthcare information could be exchanged more efficiently. These improvements, once realized are expected to help enhance patient care and reduce unnecessary costs.
The collaboration members intend to use blockchain to address a range of industry challenges, including promoting efficient claims and payment processing, to enable secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and to maintain current and accurate provider directories.
"Blockchain's unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled, and transparent way," said Lori Steele, general manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM. "The fact that these major healthcare players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the healthcare system and ultimately improve the patient experience."
For more information, go to www.ibm.com/blockchain.