Assess viability of sharing Electronic Health Records as a blockchain application

by Robin De Meyer.

ELECTRONIC PATIENT RECORDS ON
THE BLOCKCHAIN: A VALUE MANAGEMENT PLATFORM CASE-
STUDY

Introduction

This thesis is about sharing Electronic Health Records of patients, in a community of care providers, as a non-financial Blockchain application. The Value Management Platform (VMP) is used to model and assess viability of the application from an ecosystem and value delivery perspective.

Study objective

The main goal of this study has been to visualise the impact of a non-financial blockchain application. In order to achieve this visualisation, a model in the Value Management Platform (VMP) was built. This model is based upon a EHR on blockchain proof of concept in the healthcare sector. With the help of this VMP model, the impact of such a blockchain application on all the different business units can be shown and a better analysis of the application can be made. Through the complex and high-technological nature of blockchain technology, it was also possible to show the usability of the Value Management Platform for such specific cases. Additionally, based upon the experienced gathered from this case study in VMP, some suggestions were given to further improve the tool.

Study background

This study sprouted from VDMbee’s interest in blockchain technology. For this reason an appropriate blockchain use case was sought to model in the VMP. Such a blockchain case was found through the ‘healthcare interoperability using blockchain technology’ whitepaper. This whitepaper explains the setting and findings of a blockchain proof of concept for a blockchain application to manage patient consent. With the help of Shariq Ata (Enterprise architect director, University of Chicago Medicine) and Henk de Man (Co-Founder VDMbee) the proof of concept, explained in the whitepaper, was integrated in the VMP.

Value Management Platform

Through this VMP model, it is then possible to visualize the benefits blockchain technology can bring in the healthcare sector. Such a visualization was desired, as the knowledge surrounding non-financial blockchain applications is rather limited, especially in the healthcare sector. The research objectives of this study were achieved successfully. The involved parties were delighted with the final model and results it shows. VDMbee concluded that the VMP model is suitable to demonstrate the potential of their tool, already using the model to convince two potential partners.

Achievement

With these provisions in mind, this study hopes to contribute to the academic knowledge of non-financial blockchain applications, business transformation and value modelling, as it gives more insight in what an implementation of blockchain technology can do, especially in a healthcare sector.

Next steps

To provide a more accurate assessment of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector, future studies could expand the current model with a more extensive ecosystem and more accurate parameters linked to the values. Furthermore, future research is needed, where different kinds of blockchain technology initiatives in the healthcare sector are compared, to determine the best approach. An important variable is the approach of the Consortium, to know which entity is best suited to manage such an application. Moreover, practitioners could make a critical comparison of blockchain technology implementations with same-purpose innovations that want to improve the healthcare sector.

You can download this research paper.

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