New HIMSS book out on blockchain in healthcare

The HIMSS Series has a new book on blockchain in healthcare. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Innovations that Empower Patients, Connect Professionals, and Improve Care” is the title of the book.

According to the book’s authors, Vikram Dhillon, John Bass, Max Hooper, David Metcalf, and Alex Cahana, blockchain technology may hold the greatest potential in healthcare. Some of the first use cases in medical payments, electronic health records, HIPAA/data privacy, and drug counterfeiting have been explored by early pioneers.

There is still much work to be done in order to automate the complexities of today’s healthcare systems and design new systems that are focused on trust, transparency, and aligning incentives.

In this book, Metcalf, Bass, Hooper, Cahana, and Dhillon have assembled over 50 contributors, including early adopters, thought leaders, and health innovators. They tell their stories and share their knowledge. The videos and transcripts provided by many authors and contributors humanize the technical details and abstract aspects of blockchain. Using the fundamentals of blockchain, the authors curated a collection of future-oriented examples that build on early successes. After a brief introduction to the fundamentals and the protocols available, as well as early blockchain efforts specific to health and healthcare, the authors discuss the promise of smart contracts and protocols to automate complex, distributed processes and some of the early consortiums that are exploring the possibilities.

Throughout the book are examples and use cases, with special attention given to the more advanced and far-reaching examples that can be scaled at an industry-level. In addition, a discussion of integrating blockchain technology into other advanced healthcare trends and IT systems – such as telemedicine, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, value-based payments, patient engagement solutions, big data solutions, medical tourism, and clinical trials among many others – is presented. The final section provides a glimpse into the future using blockchain technology and examples of research projects that are still in labs across the globe.

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