IBM, Aetna Collaborates to Develop Blockchain for Healthcare Industry

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One of the most impactful industry is the health industry, considering its direct relevance with humankind. Reportedly, the spending of U.S. healthcare had been increased by 3.9% in 2017. Still, the system is suffering from issues like waste, inefficiencies and data loss. As part of an effort to enhance the healthcare sector, huge tech firms like IBM is teaming up with a consortium of healthcare giants that include Aetna and Anthem.

The partnership is working with an aim to improve the way sensitive data is shared and make health claims. It will also function to process the transactions in a more efficient way. To achieve such targets, the collaboration will develop a “blockchain-based ecosystem.” Companies which are part of this partnership are Aetna (CVS Health’s acquisition in last November), health plan provider Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, and PNC Bank. Notably, Health Care Service Corporation is the biggest customer-owned health insurance service provider in the U.S.

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IBM gave details noting that more businesses will be joining the Health Utility Network like health organizations, healthcare providers, startups, and technology giants. Here, Barbara Hayes, IBM general manager for payers at IBM Watson Health stated, “IBM is one of the founding members, but everybody has an equal stake across those founding members. It’s so important because you do have competitors side by side who are going after tremendous amounts of waste that is in the healthcare system; 40 cents, 50 cents on the dollar.”

Hayes noted that to work on issues related to healthcare requires insights and advanced predictions using data and getting rid of waste or inefficiencies. She pointed out that such inefficiencies exist in clinical and administrative areas. She has also shown concerns regarding bad customer experience. Hayes believes that blockchain is one of two technologies which is a fit for the healthcare industry, indicating artificial intelligence as another one technology.

Moreover, Dr. Bill Lafontaine, IBM, general manager of intellectual property expressed, “We are going to provide the SDKs and other ways to link to the platform. We are leaving this very open because many of the members are bringing different technologies that they have already been investing in, and so they get a faster return on that investment.”

IBM is no more only a tech giant, as it has proved excellence in many other industries. However, the multinational firm will surely face some competition in the space.

Ruti Vora

Ruti regularly contributes in-depth news articles for leading cryptocurrencies. She contributes technical chart-based price updates and analysis pieces on the world's leading digital currencies.

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