A Blockchain to Save Thousands of Lives and Protect Against Hacker Attacks

The MediChain platform addresses the problem of cyberattacks, data breaches and mistakes that can cost thousands of lives.

In recent years, the reputation of the UK National Health Service (NHS) has been compromised due to heavily publicized cyber attacks, patient data breaches and errors that could have led to the loss of thousands of lives.

Now, however, there is a solution. MediChain Medical’s big data platform wants to protect electronic medical records, empower patients, provide greater data security and minimize costly errors.

In May 2017, some divisions of the NHS were completely blocked by a cyber attack that exposed the vulnerabilities of the IT systems used by the publicly funded UK health care provider.

The hospitals discovered that their Windows computers had been infected by the WannaCry malware. The ransomware was fortunately stopped by a blogger. However, in October 2017 one of the same hospitals was again hit by the virus.

In an attempt to calm the tensions, NHS Digital, the IT branch of the NHS, announced a £ 20 million contract in November 2017 to secure support from “ethical hackers” to prevent further attacks.

However, such attempts to curb patient concerns about the safety of their personal medical data were compromised again in January 2018 when a university health commission in Wales had to unconditionally apologize to 41 patients whose files had been illegally consulted by an administrative operator hospital. And this is not the first incident: a nurse has illegally displayed data from 3,000 patients for two years in another Welsh hospital.

Fortunately, the MediChain platform may be able to alleviate patient concerns. The company’s blockchain involves creating a compliant cloud in which patients can store their medical information and check the data they actually share with doctors, hospitals and other parties.

As stated by Dr. Mark Baker, CEO of MediChain: “We will not only put patients in charge. Now, whenever new information about a patient is added, for surgery, advice or prescription, the patient will decide independently what to include in his / her file, via an app, for example by adding a reference to our block on Ethereum » .

Furthermore, the “medical” blockchain allows the entry of crucial information outside the chain.  Doctor Baker highlights one of the main advantages of the system’s off-chain appearance: “Our blockchain ecosystem indexes highly sensitive patient data using an encrypted database managed by a computer network that is virtually incorruptible. In addition, patient permission is required to access specific cryptographic keys. ”

The system also helps to solve another failure that is affecting the NHS – potentially lethal errors. At the end of February 2018, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government would do its best to reduce the number of deaths caused by prescribing or administering wrong medication to patients.

This was followed by the publication of some government-sponsored research that indicates that the death of 22,000 people in the country could be due to such errors and that general practitioners, hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacists could commit 237 million errors every year.

Physicians who access the MediChain platform, even from different hospitals, or the patients using smartcards themselves, enter information into the blockchain itself. The dott. Baker observes: “This information becomes part of the patient’s off-track registration. Now that the patient will have control and information will be shared securely among general practitioners, hospitals and patients, this could reduce the risk of misuse of drugs and save lives unnecessarily lost. “

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