As we recently recognized in a conversation with Florence Hudson, there is a LOT to unpack when it comes to blockchain in health care. But the industry has definitely taken notice of Patientory, whose team and distributed ledger technology is starting to revolutionize EHRs and the way doctors and patients interact with each other and their data.

You may recall Patientory was the winner of the 2018 SEMDA Medtech Conference PitchRounds competition.

After raising $7.2 million in mid-2017 through its ICO (initial coin offering), Patientory launched its consumer-facing app in late 2018. But what’s needed to accelerate blockchain technology deployment in the healthcare continuum?

“We need brave, forward looking health systems for use cases in large patient populations,” Patientory founder and CEO Chrissa McFarlane told us. “We need to see an adoption by a large company on a day-to-day basis that includes 1 million covered lives. The space is filled with great startups, but adoption and implementation is the next mountain to climb.”

Beyond an individual’s EHR, blockchain for healthcare can improve processes in supply chain management of medical devices or opioids or even claims processing and adjudication. But large scale adoption in highly centralized provider IT networks is unlikely in the short term given clinical workflow disruption and technical proficiency ramp up requirements.

“There are payer and provider CIOs or IT architecture leads fluent in blockchain, but very few of them,” McFarlane says. “Ultimately the end users, the patients, physicians and their bosses will drive systemic adoption of secure, distributed ledger technology that enables them to truly own and access individuals’ electronic health records. This is why the launch of our app was so important.”

As tech giants like Google and Apple wade deeper into the healthcare pool collecting more and more personal health data, will blockchain be the technology that carriers and secures it?

“It’s inevitable,” McFarlane says. “Blockchain’s potential spans the entirety of the continuum, which tends to cloud its greatest value potential: securely placing patient data in the right hands at the right time to improve outcomes while reducing cost.”

What’s next for Patientory?

“We remain focused on our core deliverables from our 2017 product roadmap including the enterprise distributed application solution and the PTOYNet storage network,” McFarlane says. “We are also eager to analyze the results from our ongoing pilot programs to learn what works, what doesn’t and what’s needed next to place millions of lives under care through the Patientory platform. Do they have a long term tech strategy to incorporate distributed ledger technology into their stack?

“We need more market validation and to learn more about health systems’ financial structures and operations along with their perception of the emerging opportunities and potential for blockchain in healthcare.”

Ms. McFarlane will share further thoughts on the future of blockchain in healthcare during a panel conversation following Florence Hudson’s keynote on Wednesday, April 9th at the 2019 SEMDA Medtech Conference. Register today!