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article imageProof Work develops system of patient-controlled medical data

By Ken Hanly     Dec 4, 2017 in Health
Berlin - The Proof Work company based in Tel Aviv Israel envisions a future where patients both own and control their medical data. The data is secured by the blockchain.
Contrasts with the present system of medical records
If the system should work, it would be a big change to how health care data is handled at present. Now it is often only accessible to doctors and hospitals. Often patients must make a special request to see their own medical records.
In the present system there is often little sharing between doctors as well. Patients visiting a new doctor may often need to explain their current ailments and past history.
Proof Work presented its position on stage as the wild-card company at Disrupt Berlin Startup Battlefield held on December 4th and 5th in Berlin Germany.
Simplifying the medical data system
The company is building tools that will permit healthcare companies to place their apps and services on the blockchain. Another tool will allow patients to upload their own medical data to the blockchain system.
Proof Work founder David Suter said, “As somebody who walks into a doctor or a hospital, there are many moving parts that are put into place behind the scenes in order to make sure we get the right level of care, the right treatment. All those moving parts are siloed. What blockchain allows through smart contracts is to put all those moving parts on a longitudinal line in order to talk to each other. It’s a big undertaking; It’s not going to happen overnight."
The ultimate goal is to have patients walk into the doctor's office with their medical records all on their phone.
Suter claims that patients rather than doctors should decide what happens to their medical records. As it is now, doctors may get patients to sign agreements to sell anonymized medical data to pharmaceutical companies. With the Proof Work system patients would get to choose to contribute their medical records or even sell them.
A first move in developing the new system will be a mobile app that will remind users to take medications.
Problems with using new technology for medical records
Earlier attempts to use new technology for medical records include Microsoft HealthVault a web-based personal record of medical data.
Suter notes that a problem getting the system to work was that healthcare companies are not necessarily interested in making it easier for patients to access their own records. Among other negatives is that a patient could decide to go to another provider.
Suter thinks that companies might be more willing to work with Proof Work since they would have access to more data and users can choose to sell or share their data with them. They would be paid for transfers in Proof Work's coin.
Proof Work's coin
Proof Work is planning an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in six months time that would create a coin that would allow data to be traded. Insurance companies could should they wish incentivize patients to take prescribed medications through paying them with the coin. Over the longer term the company plans to take a small percentage from transactions on its platforms.
The company co-founded with Guy Aharanovsky, who has a cyber-security background expects to launch its first application within six months.
Proof Works' website
The company has its own website.
The company says its aim is to develop a democratized health and wellness ecosystem using the blockchain. It will help decentralize medical health data and provide access through smart contracts and a portable management tool kit.
The system focuses on privacy and regulatory standards that create patient-first relationships between payer, provider and users. The system is described in greater detail on their website replete with the recent jargon about such issues. For example, it talks of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and mHealth (IOT) devices.
More about Proof Work, medical data, blockchain technology
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