To many, the healthcare industry serves as the single most interesting ground for the advancement of blockchain technology within an enterprise setting. It is a huge global business with critical legacy operations, as well as massive inefficiencies, transparency concerns and questions around future growth. Some of the world's most interesting blockchain use cases can be found in the healthcare industry and many more are poised to take off from there.
Building on this momentum, BTC Inc, publisher of Distributed.com, has announced plans for its third annual Distributed: Health conference, the first and largest conference dedicated to the intersection of the healthcare industry and blockchain technology. The conference will be held in partnership with Hashed Health, a healthcare innovation products company.
Taking place from November 5 to 6, this year's Distributed: Health is anticipating over 1,000 attendees, with several keynote speakers and technological presentations already lined up. Former U.S. Senator Bill Frist will discuss his efforts to reform the healthcare industry on a national level. The Department of Health and Human Services, RTI international, Optum and Humana are expected to make high-profile company announcements. Enterprise blockchain leaders like Hyperledger and the Ethereum Foundation will present some of their solutions for the industry's pain points.
The event will also feature a 24-hour hackathon intended to equip some of the country's leading developers with blockchain technology and produce real-life solutions for the healthcare industry. There will also be an enterprise code camp to help developers sharpen their distributed ledger building skills and explore the latest technological tools at their disposal.
"Nashville is already regarded as the healthcare epicenter of the U.S., but there is a tremendous opportunity here to establish the city as a technology innovation hub as well,” said David Bailey, CEO of BTC Inc, per a press release on the event. “Distributed: Health continues to provide a platform for the biggest innovators and thought leaders to share their ideas while cementing Nashville's place as the healthcare blockchain hub."
Ultimately, the third Distributed: Health is designed to bring together decentralizing technologists with the healthcare leaders who need their solutions most. With more functioning blockchain platforms and applications available than ever, it's sure to take the conversation from theoretical to actionable for countless healthcare providers.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has announced a "Token Taxonomy Initiative" to develop universal definitions for tokens to encourage their interchangeability across blockchain platforms. Members of the initiative include Microsoft, R3, ConsenSys, IBM, EY, Accenture and Intel.
Gemini Trust, a New York-based cryptocurrency exchange, has announced support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) addresses and transaction batching. As a result, customers can now use SegWit addresses for bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, ideally improving processing times and lowering bitcoin withdrawal fees.
Food producer Nestlé and retailer Carrefour will equip the packaging of a French instant mashed potato product with a QR code that provides blockchain-based data about its origins to consumers. The pilot was developed in conjunction with IBM Food Trust.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have launched a permissioned blockchain-based "educational" digital token called Learning Coin. The token is inaccessible to the public and has no monetary value, but was developed to help agency staff becomes familiar with the principles behind distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies.