It’s extremely hard to deny that cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues facing the largest corporations in the world right now. It doesn’t matter whether a company is valued in the billions – it seems as though no company is safe from a potential data breach that could lead to millions of consumers with their information all over the Internet.
We have seen this with what is possibly the largest hack in human history – with Yahoo having somewhere around 3 billion accounts compromised in 2013. In addition, Facebook, which is valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, was not immune from its own data breach with affected somewhere around 50 million users several months ago. This begs the question – are our most intimate records – medical records – safe from a hack, and can blockchain technology help to make sure that our most private information remains private? Apparently, IBM wants to find out.
A Healthcare Consortium
Some high-profile health companies are teaming up with both IBM and PNC Bank to experiment a new way of keeping medical records efficiently on the blockchain. The consortium includes health insurance giants such as Aetna, Anthem, and Health Care Service Corporation.
The ultimate hope is that the companies save a massive amount of money on administrative costs. The fact that Aetna is involved is fitting, considering the company has had to shell out millions in a settlement related to a 2017 data breach.
There are many analysts and experts that have pointed out that one of the biggest issues when it comes to medical data is the fact that it is so fragmented, and the immutable nature of blockchain technology could certainly help in this respect. It could also be utilized for a more efficient and inexpensive way to store data, which could end up useful with regards to medical research, as well.
Aetna Chief Technology Officer (CTO) seems hopeful about the initiative, stating: “Through the application of blockchain technology, we’ll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data.”