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The value potential of blockchain in healthcare: Q&A with Patientory’s Chrissa McFarlane

More than nine in 10 (91%) health executive respondents believe blockchain and smart contracts will be critical for their organisation over the next three years, according to Accenture’s Digital Health Tech Vision 2018 report. As more health executives envision implementing blockchain technologies into their organisations or processes, LSX has gathered a panel of leaders at the forefront of the industry to explore the benefits that this technology can bring to the healthcare and life sciences sector. The panellists will come together at LSX World Congress USA 2018 on 10-11 October in Boston, MA, to share their insights and experiences with senior life sciences executives, investors, and industry stakeholders.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Jay Goth, Managing Partner at Forentis Fund, and will feature Katherine Merton, Head of J&J Innovation, JLABS @ NYC, Chrissa McFarlane, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Patientory, David Koepsell, Chief Executive Officer at Encrypgen, and Drew Volpe, Founding Partner at First Star Ventures.

Ahead of the panel, Patientory’s McFarlane (pictured) tells LSX about her expectations for blockchain technology over the coming years, and details the potential hurdles that may need to be overcome to enable blockchain to reach its full potential in healthcare.

CEO_PatientoryWhat was the inspiration behind Patientory?

I grew up in New York City with the desire to become a surgeon. I attended business school, completed a semester of medical school, and soon became more interested in becoming part of the solution to clinical and business challenges faced by healthcare.

Specifically, the urgent need for secure, scalable, cost-effective solutions that deliver interoperability, improve health information exchange and access, while ensuring data security with the most effective technologies available today.

How does the company employ blockchain technology to serve patients, healthcare organisations and medical professionals?

Patientory empowers patients, clinicians and healthcare organisations to safely access, store and transfer information, thus improving health information exchange, interoperability and care coordination while ensuring the highest available levels of data security, and compliance. Patientory interconnects with EHR systems and enables doctors, care providers and consumers to communicate on a single easy-to-use platform.

Looking to the next 10 years and beyond, how do you expect blockchain technology to have impacted the healthcare ecosystem and attitudes towards patient care and health data management?

In ten years, I hope industry leaders will look back and point to blockchain as a pivotal solution that stopped the costly health data breaches that break down public trust, provided new solutions to communication challenges that cause delays, confusion and sometimes lives, and brought new time-saving, cost-saving efficiencies for healthcare providers and organisations serving the expanding ageing populations who need more efficient monitoring and means of accessing healthcare.

Do you see any hurdles to blockchain technology reaching its full potential in the healthcare industry? If so, how can these be addressed?

In the early days of internet, it was of limited use because only a few people had it. The same was true for e-mail. It takes a volume of people and organisations to use a technology in order for its potential to be achieved. 

Now, internet brings together research and information into accessible useable forms undreamt of by previous generations. Internet is central to the information age and information economies. 

Similarly, the healthcare blockchain requires adoption by numerous people and organisations to achieve its full potential.

What would you like those who attend the Digital Value of Blockchain Panel at the LSX World Congress USA to take away from the discussion?

I would like attendees to understand the significant value potential of blockchain for life sciences and the healthcare sector. 

Even before blockchain achieves the value potential of scale, today it can already resolve significant pain points associated with routine clinical and healthcare business processes. For example, blockchain can solve problems of interoperability across disparate data platforms, prevent costly data breaches, and mitigate compliance risks. 

Consumer confidence in the secure handling of their health information is improved by blockchain. 

Executing smart contracts for seamless and more efficient contract fulfilment yields immediate value, and as the Patientory PTOYNet blockchain is uniquely HIPAA-compliant and compliant with today’s highest health data security standards internationally, it significantly mitigates risks related to handling health data. 

Blockchain-based technologies can empower patients and their providers with a more current and complete picture of their medical records and data, enable streamlined global clinical trial participation management, as well as the monitoring and recording of multiple service provider activities.

I am passionate about how blockchain virtually eliminates data breaches and costly related penalties. When healthcare leaders see the benefits of the technology, hurdles to its adoption and scale vanish.

The LSX World Congress USA will take place in Boston, MA, on 10-11 October 2018. Find out more about the event, including the speakers and panel discussions that will feature in the conference programme, here. Join the conversation and stay up to date with the latest event announcements by following #LSXUSA18 and @LSXLeaders. 


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