First, the Hashed Health Consortium brings healthcare enterprises across the spectrum together to learn about blockchain technologies. These industry leading healthcare organizations will participate in working groups in order to solve concrete business problems in the healthcare industry, addressing a multitude of issues such as revenue cycles, data sharing, payment reform, insurance and supply chain provenance.
Member organizations will be drawn from across the healthcare industry. According to Todaro, this scope of expertise will make the Hashed Health Consortium unique, especially compared to other business consortia. “We include a broad range of types of organizations. Payers and providers, EMR (electronic medical record) and other data companies, supply chain companies, revenue cycle companies and middlemen, pharma, services and consulting can all have a seat at the table.”
The second level is a Development Studio focused on protocol-level implementation structures for those healthcare initiatives that have the most potential for immediate commercial traction. The Consortium will feed its ideas into the Development Studio, which will then seek to engineer those solutions from the proof of concept (PoC) stage through business-level application development, and eventually go on to full product development and commercialization.
For the remainder of the calendar year, Hashed Health will focus on growing the initial consortium membership, with the intention of holding its first Hashed Health Consortium membership meeting in Q1 of 2017; the Development Studio will be gearing up for PoC production within that same timeframe, with a goal of producing four PoCs, per year beginning in 2017.
“We want to be a vendor-neutral technology forum to apply the best technology to the best use case,” said Todaro. “Not every chain or platform idea will work with every proof of concept. We don’t want to try to control or generate a single chain for all of health care — I don’t think that’s possible — but we want to bring the best-of-breed of the development cycle into collaboration with Hashed Health consortium members to generate that proof of concept.”
Hyperledger Healthcare Working Group
Also announced at the same Distributed: Health conference was a new working group launched by Hyperledger. The Hyperledger Healthcare Working Group (HLHC Working Group) has the mission “to house and foster technical and business-level conversation about appropriate applications for blockchain technology in the healthcare industry.”
In his address, Todaro announced that Hashed Health is joining the HLHC Working Group as a member “to work on the protocol and library levels, to ensure that the blockchain libraries and protocols have the prerequisites necessary for implementation in healthcare.”
“I think we’ve all seen IT applications that come in and say, well, there’s a lot of innovation here but you’re going to have to change your workflow significantly,” said Todaro. “That just doesn’t fly in healthcare. You can’t tell the units in your hospital that they’ve got to substantially change the way that they do things now to get a marginal benefit in technology.”
He pointed out that if the technology is not adapted to workflows and doesn’t meet the expectations of the end users, “it doesn't matter how innovative the blockchain backend is — it’s not going to fly.”
By bringing all the levels of discourse together — the enterprise-specific business applications; the value-added systems of API libraries, consensus protocols and permission policies; and HLCC Working Group protocol level experts — Hashed Health can focus its development efforts from the top level, bringing in healthcare partners and the open source community to ensure it comes up with a full stack that meets the unique needs and expectations of the healthcare community.
“This is a pre-competitive technology,” said Todaro. “People who come to the table now will set the terms for how blockchain gets implemented and how it gets understood by other stakeholders.”
Image: Corey Todaro of Hashed Health and Charles Martin of Martin Ventures at Distributed: Health, October 3, 2016 (Courtesy of Charles Bailey)