Blockchain for Sharing Medical Data University of California Researchers Develop Prototype

The implementation of blockchain technology into systems is going at a fast pace as researchers come up with blockchain based systems to improve the functionality of old systems. This time around researchers at the University of California have made a prototype for the medical sector to make data sharing immutable and traceable. Through blockchain, the latter is all possible since the technology will improve the brick and mortar system already in place.

While this is not the first time a blockchain based system has been developed for the medical sector, it shows researchers are working around the clock to make data secure. Earlier this month Bitfury signed a memorandum of understanding with two firms to develop a system for the imaging section in the medical department. Just like in the Bitfury case the main aim of the new blockchain system is to improve on the setbacks of the old system. For researchers over at the University of California, their primary goal is to make data collected trustworthy by getting rid of the weakness of old systems through making changes on the immutability and traceability process of the whole system. Apart from that, medical practitioners will now have a new and reliable system in place to submit reports of adverse events when carrying out research. Through submitting the data, they will help improve the overall medical record management system in place.

Prototype Already in Place

Per information on nature.com researchers have already deployed a trial system to get the bigger picture of how the whole system works. Through a web portal, the blockchain system was implemented in the real world and put to the test using clinical datasets. In this trial, the primary goal was to check on how clinical investigators and patients interact with the blockchain system. Furthermore, the developers reviewed the integrity of the system and its data by throwing in malicious codes. When it comes to storing data, new records keyed in by users is first recorded on a block put together then hashed by a SHA256 algorithm.

Moreover, if data submitted has errors or faults, the system gives users a chance to key in new data to update the correct information by initiating a new transaction. Unlike other systems where errors are corrected by overwriting old data, in the new blockchain system old data is maintained. The new transaction initiated takes care of all faults previously made.