Waking the healthcare giant: the slow road to a blockchain-driven eHealth framework - Reuters

 

Waking the healthcare giant: the slow road to a blockchain-driven eHealth framework

Waking the healthcare giant: the slow road to a blockchain-driven eHealth framework

Wed Mar 13, 2019 - 04:11am UTC

The mobile revolution is taking a long time to arrive in health care for a variety of reasons, including high costs, the need for customization, and strict regulations. Blockchain technology in particular still has to make a significant entry in this market. However, the situation is changing thanks to such companies as ClinicAll – a recognized international provider of hospital infotainment software.

Roughly two years ago, mobile traffic finally surpassed desktop Internet usage. It was a historical event in a sense, marking the transition to a truly connected era, when most goods and services are purchased and used on mobile devices. Millennials now view smartphone-based banking, travel planning, shopping, and job searching as the norm. However, there is one fundamental area where mobile transformation has been slow: medicine.

Obstacles to transformation
For all the talk of eHealth as the future of the industry, there are a number of factors restricting the integration of new technology in health care:
– Complexity: developing a versatile mobile system for healthcare institutions requires extensive experience in the field, which creates insurmountable barriers to entry for most companies in the industry of mobile apps
– Training requirements and inertia: doctors and medical staff are notoriously wary of new digital services, especially since most of their time is spent dealing with patients, not programs
– High costs: for eHealth services, the actual cost of development forms only a small part of the overall expenditure; research, customization, and training are essential and can take years
– Strict regulatory framework: health care is one of the heaviest-regulated industries in the world, and for good reason – any loss of patient data can have consequences extending far beyond simple financial damage

ClinicAll: meeting the eHealth challenge
Any company wishing to implement a mobile eHealth platform would have to overcome all the restricting factors listed above, not just some of them. This is only feasible for a business that is already well established in the healthcare market and that has at its disposal a large network of connections among medical institutions. ClinicAll – a well-known provider of infotainment terminals for hospitals – finds itself in a privileged position in this market, benefiting both from an established reputation and an innovative technological vision.

For over 10 years, ClinicAll has been supplying advanced bedside terminals to hospitals in Europe and the Middle East. With its headquarters in the U.S., and product development in Germany, the company has further subsidiaries in Spain, Switzerland, France, Austria, Gibraltar and the Middle East. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Microsoft signed in 2012, ClinicAll developed and introduced a Windows-based software solution in that same year, with a focus on easy integration of third-party healthcare apps and programs. The company’s terminals supply doctors and medical staff with up-to-date patient information and offer dozens of applications to patients, including entertainment, TV, Internet, and phone calls. Apart from various hospitals in the European market, several hundred ClinicAll systems have been also installed in hospitals in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a very demanding market for innovative high-tech medical solutions.

From terminals to a healthcare community
For the past two years, the ClinicAll team has been designing an integrated mobile environment that will bring together hospital staff, patients and their relatives, and service providers. The new system will allow patients and healthcare professionals to use their own mobile devices in hospitals, bringing the advantages of cutting-edge medical software to institutions that cannot afford terminals.

The next stage is the creation of a full-scale healthcare community that expands far beyond what bedside terminals can do. Users will be able to get a second opinion from a doctor abroad, purchase medication, order food delivery to a hospital, pay for bedside entertainment content, book a hotel room for a patient’s relatives, and much more.

To power financial transactions within this so-called ClinicAll Healthcare Community, ClinicAll chose to launch its own cryptographic token (CHT) based on the Ethereum network. Near-zero fees and the possibility to make fast and easy cross-border payments make digital tokens a good choice for an international healthcare ecosystem such as ClinicAll. However, the application of blockchain in the project goes far beyond just payments. Based on their extensive experience in dealing not only with technical development, but also with the demanding regulations in many countries, ClinicAll also is focused on checking out and developing solutions where patients will be able to securely store – and control – their data on the blockchain and share it with healthcare professionals as they see fit. There are further services such as online doctor consultations and medication purchases that will be available through this new community.

CHT tokens are expected to enter into circulation in Q3 2019 after a large-scale token sale. Detailed information on ClinicAll and the healthcare community, as well as the project’s white paper, are available at https://ClinicAll.io/.

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