Atlanta Startup Crowdfunds $7.2M In 3 Days To Launch Blockchain-Driven Platform For Secure Patient Records
Atlanta-based Patientory, a healthcare startup for secure patient records, announced it raised $7.2 million over three days in a successful crowd sale driven by 1,728 investors. The funds will be used to officially launch the platform, Patientory, said in a press release.
Patientory is an advanced healthcare app that lets users create a patient profile to keep track of their health history. The free-to-use app provides patients a hassle-free way of tracking doctor visits, medical bills, personal medical information, insurance, immunizations and pharmacy medications.
Because Patientory is a blockchain-based platform, it can’t be hacked, its makers say. It relies on electronic medical records stored on the distributed ledger system, and functions as a network.
Digital health care records are a growing niche in the tech space, and they’re fueling disruption and innovation in the healthcare industry, Bitcoin Magazine reported.
Connecting digital medical records without compromising privacy is one of the biggest issues in healthcare. Blockchain technology, the system behind Bitcoin and other forms of digital currency, has emerged as a catalyst in this activity.
“We have all these (electronic health records) that are siloed, that don’t speak to each other, that aren’t interoperable,” said Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane, according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle report. “This is patient data that patients don’t have access to. They’re left to their own mercy to get that information themselves. We saw more need for universal health records.”
With Patientory, healthcare firms can secure private health information, rent computing power, servers and data centers and make their unused resources available through private infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts for patient care payment can be executed from the platform.
Patients can be “secure in the fact that their private medical data cannot be held ransom by cyber criminals,” the startup said in a prepared statement.
“It’s virtually impossible for a cyber criminal to hack one block in the chain without simultaneously hacking every other block in the chain’s chronology,” McFarlane said. “This makes Patientory incredibly appealing to not only store a patient’s entire health history, but determining who should have access to it.”
Using blockchain technology, Patientory encrypts medical patient information in hospitals and insurance companies so that the data is distributed, thus meeting the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Security Rule. Through the coordination of patient care via a blockchain health information exchange, unnecessary services and duplicate tests are essentially alleviated, thereby lowering costs and improving the continuum of care cycle.
Google’s British AI division, DeepMind, announced earlier this year the launch of a blockchain-like ledger for managing healthcare data, Huffington Post reported. The goal is to automatically record every interaction with patient data in a secure manner. The nature of blockchain supports this, as every interaction with a piece of data is recorded.
“In (Britain’s National Health Service), the technology offers the potential to improve healthcare by improving and authenticating the delivery of services and by sharing records securely, according to exact rules,” Sir Mark Walport said in a report last year.
Patientory is one of the leading exponents of blockchain in healthcare, according to Huffington Post. Patientory’s recently announced token sale is a first-of-its-kind in the industry.
The tokens, known as PTOY, will be traded via a secure, closed-loop ledger system that aims to connect up all parties in the healthcare ecosystem to allow for the exchange of health data in a secure, blockchain-powered health information exchange.
Doctors, healthcare organizations and patients will be able to use the tokens to access and secure up-to-date medical history and private health information.
The hope is that by giving patients control over their health data, it will empower them to better manage their care. We are still at an early stage so there remain some challenges to overcome, Huffington Post reported.
For instance, blockchain technology remains an alien concept for many, and with digital literacy stubbornly low in some areas, providing an accessible interface to blockchain for the whole population remains a significant challenge.
The Patientory system also only manages official medical records, so doesn’t take account of user generated data, whether it’s from wearable devices, mobile apps or even DNA sequences. This is undoubtedly the next step.