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Industry Spotlight: Health Analytics

Patient Data Management

Health analytics is a hot topic now, but to do the analytics you need data – this is where Electronic Health Records (EHR) come in.  An integrated, standardized system for sharing and accessing health data has been “just around the corner” now for more than a decade.  Despite a big push by the U.S. government starting in 2009, huge challenges remain. As late as 2012, many physicians still communicated by fax.  An NIH study identified the key factors behind the resistance:

  • Doctor resistance – a majority feel that putting data into the EHR negatively impacts patient relationships and workflow

  • Lack of standardization of diagnostic terminology – there are lots of EHR vendors, and none has more than a fifth of the market

  • Data = value, so stakeholders think of their data as valuable and proprietary and there is resistance to sharing

  • Extensive government regulations protect patient privacy, and hinder sharing

Blockchain to the rescue?

One company, Open Health Network (OHN), has put forward its product, Patientsphere, as a solution to privacy concerns and “data hoarding” by different private companies.  Based on a decentralized blockchain model, it gives patients control and ownership of their health data, and provides an interface for them to share data (as they wish) with providers.  OHN says its technology will serve as a platform for others to develop apps based on patient data, and will also facilitate mechanisms for consumers to monetize their health data.