Blockchains, Property Rights and Health Technology Assessment in the Pharmaceutical and Device(s) Industries
Ongoing concerns with the security of health information, both from the perspective of the individual patient as well as health systems has led to increased attention being given to the potential role of blockchain technology in the secure storage of health information through encryption, the integration of diverse health record systems and the vesting of property and access rights to health data in the patient. While the security offered by blockchain technology has long been recognized in the finance sector with the emergence of a range of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange and store of value, demonstrating the value of blockchain technology in health management and health technology assessment has yet to be achieved. In this commentary, a number of questions are raised as to the potential value offered by blockchain technology as a complement to existing electronic medical record systems. Chief among these are: (i) the allocation of property rights as a necessary precondition for blockchain uptake; (ii) access and incentives for active as opposed to passive blockchain membership; (iii) monetization of blockchain access; (iv) capturing data from within the blockchain and the possibility of value added data; (v) the potential for blockchain platforms in formulary evaluations; (vi) the blockchain as a managed market for health data; and (vii) the role of intermediation in blockchain management.
Article Type: Commentary
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