Illinois moves ahead with blockchain for healthcare initiative


A new blockchain-based pilot will soon start exploring opportunities to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the medical credentialing process in the US state of Illinois.

The project was recently announced by the Illinois Blockchain Initiative wherein it will partner blockchain healthcare innovation firm Hashed Health to develop a blockchain-based registry to streamline the sharing of medical credential data and smart contracts to automate workflow related to multistate and interstate licensure.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) secretary Bryan Schneider said: “IDFPR’s active participation in efforts such as the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and the Illinois Competitiveness Council shows our commitment to improving license portability for healthcare professionals.

“In the short-term we anticipate this pilot will show how distributed ledger technology can help reduce the complexity of interstate licensing processes in Illinois,” Schneider added.

“In the long-term, we see this as a secure, privacy-enhancing way in which state licensure boards can efficiently manage credentialing at national scale, while also presenting health payers and provider networks a ‘single source-of-truth’ to improve the veracity of provider directories and claims adjudication processes.”

The registry allows providers to be identified in a secure, verifiable and scalable way. Credentialing bodies can reliably view and eventually attest to certifications, providers can verify and maintain a single record, and all interacting bodies can trust that the central record is valid, authenticated, and unique.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the next five to 10 years will see the emergence of a ‘blockchain ecosystem with healthcare-focused use cases’ centred around the following areas: health data exchanges; smart assets management; and insurance and payment solution. The market researcher predicts that blockchain will converge with parallel developments in AI, machine learning, mHealth and IoT.

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