The block chain is the key part of the technology that underlies bitcoin. It allows for information (including coins) to be simultaneously validated, yet completely private. A couple of key examples of non-currency applications are dna-bits.com, and Proof of Existence. VCs like Marc Andreessen are saying that the blockchain technologies will be thought of in 20 years much like we think about the Web today.
Let’s not go 20 years, but in 5 or 10 years, how will bitcoin\blockchain technologies be used in healthcare?
Information could be analyzed, but private. We’ll increasingly see ways for patients (and many others) to own their data and have it unique, but share the value of the data as well. dna-bits, for example, is attempting to keep information private while also providing access for analytics without divulging contents.
Block chains are also effective bidding systems with Kickstarter-type assurance contracts. We may see additional ways for these kinds of technologies to fund healthcare services. Need a hip replacement or an eye surgery? Perhaps doctors or providers will bid for patients like Uber drivers bid for clients. Additionally, incentive programs could become more automated.
These are just a few possibilities, but there are many more. Check out the original white paper on bitcoin as a good starting point. “The Future of the Blockchain” published in Business Insider also provides good info.
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