Digitizing healthcare administration is a massive opportunity, and Houston-based AMCHART, a subsidiary of AMSYS, is developing blockchain-based solutions for improving electronic health records (EHR). The company is launching a crypto token sale on March 1.
"Blockchain technology can improve portability, increased accuracy and transparency of records," says CEO Aman Quadri. "It lowers the barrier to entry and allow medium-sized organizations to use technology that enables data to be held by patients, not by large EHR companies."
Many in the healthcare industry have been frustrated with EHRs. Some doctors say they're cumbersome, require too much data entry, and ultimately degrade quality of care. EHR systems aren't always interoperable with each other. This creates challenges when trying to share information between hospitals, physicians and insurers. Healthcare IT News found in a recent survey that many users say EHR systems need greater security, greater interoperability and a better user experience.
"It's your data, it should belong do you," says Ken Parekh, chairman and CEO of AMSYS, the parent company of AMCHART. "Patients control their records because they initiate the build of their medical record, allow permissioned access to doctors, hospitals, and research companies, and get incentivized for meeting objectives."
Blockchain has tremendous potential to transform electronic health records, and the technology can enable secure lifetime record-sharing across all providers with cryptographic assurance of data integrity, standardized auditing and formalized contracts for data access.
"The opportunity to improve EHRs is massive," says AMCHART's Aman Quadri. "The current record costs spent in the United States was nearly $9.3 billion dollars and most systems have no interoperability. The VA recently spent nearly $1.6 billion dollars and their system is still not working." There's plenty of disconnect when it comes to cooperating and communicating. Quadri adds, "The problem is that EHR companies do not want to cooperate with other systems to allow for information sharing and that takes the ability away from patients for easy access to information that could help in their care."
Aside from blockchain, AMCHART is raising funds through a token sale beginning March 1. Use of the token will not only allow access to the chain but will create a transparent, immutable trust structure that the Houston-based firm says is lacking in traditional EHRs. Its development team will work to forge partnerships to utilize current blockchain technology from other healthcare companies while layering their tech stack on top of it.
"Most other initiatives have failed because the barrier of entry was too high to compete with large legacy-based systems who out-market smaller companies," says Ken Parekh of AMSYS. "Since the advent of blockchain technology, we can combine multiple techs and start from the ground up. The sales cycle can be slow in healthcare and that can lead to a slowdown in adoption, but using a grassroots campaign can begin the changes needed for improved information sharing and patient-controlled data."
Many healthcare organizations are already turning to blockchain. A 2016 survey of more than 300 health and life sciences executives by Deloitte found 35 percent said they would deploy some sort of blockchain solution in the next year. Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf told HIT Infrastructure that there's likely to be more adoption of blockchain in 2018. In anticipation of rising demand, the organization launched an online training course to educate developers on blockchain for business. And many institutions are piloting new programs.
"There will always be challenges on adoption," says Quadri. "Until people realize that they control their data and get rewarded for its use, it will remain a challenge to circumvent the current system. With our incentive programs, the ability to show realistic change through our app, and improved predictive capabilities of our machine learning/AI engine, we can conquer the way healthcare is currently managed and make it more proactive."