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by Michael Scott, Sep 06, 2017

A Platform To Bypass Healthcare’s Legacy Technology


Untethering Healthcare blockchain

In 2006 the Harvard Business School Press published a book — Redefining Health Care: Creating Value Based Competition on Results, by Michael Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg — that offered a compelling critique of our healthcare system. However, the book also introduced a breakthrough framework for redefining how healthcare value is delivered through quality and efficiency. 

Today, healthcare in the U.S. is more than a $3.5 trillion industry. It is projected to exceed GDP growth for at least the next decade. A significant portion of costs are tied to slowed processes due to intermediaries and legacy technology instruments (think paper filing).

But with the emerging innovations using blockchain technology, the present moment is ripe for opportunities to disrupt healthcare using the blockchain’s distributed ledger technology.

PokitDoc is in pursuit of some of these opportunities. Using an application program interface (API) platform, PokitDoc will untether critical healthcare business data for trouble-free integration with new and existing services. Its aim is to satisfy a patient’s desire for both access to and control over their healthcare data, thus enabling the healthcare system’s improved connectivity.

Emphasizing enhanced workflow processes, PokitDoc will update existing systems for the modern age. From scheduling and eligibility to patient portals and identity management, the company wants to set the standard for the “new normal” in value-based healthcare — meaning the approach is designed around patients for better care and lower costs.

DokChain and Hyperledger Sawtooth

Recently, PokitDok announced a collaborative partnership with Intel to provide a healthcare blockchain solution called DokChain. DokChain uses the digital ledger concept for tracking transactions and applies it to the healthcare system.

Intel’s open source Hyperledger Sawtooth will serve as DokChain’s underlying ledger, processing blockchain transaction requests through the use of Intel chips. It is reported that a consortium of more than 40 companies is involved in this effort, including Amazon, Capital One, Guardian and Ascension.

Through this collaboration, DokChain provides identity management to validate and process transactions through smart contracts. Applied practically, instead of waiting 90-180 days for a claim to be processed, or spending a lengthy period of time on the phone attempting to get a bill paid, it will in theory be processed on the spot. This represents a significant  advancement in terms of prevailing claims-processing models.

DokChain provides other blockchain solutions, including transparent prescription pricing, better pharmaceutical supply chain management, the securement of private patient data and fraud prevention. Much like the energy sector, the healthcare system requires high-level information security, largely because of stringent HIPAA requirements.

“Our objective is to record transactions that capture the history and administrative process of an individual’s care,” said Ted Tanner, co-founder and CTO of the company. “DokChain was created with the intent to link health systems, insurers, technology, supply chain companies and financial institutions.”

The first production-ready eligibility check of DokChain was demoed on stage at Health 2.0 Conference in 2016, at the same time The DokChain Alliance was being formed. Tanner pointed out that, at the very least, deploying a system that allows inherent secure cryptographic transactions with electronic clearing and auditing is a huge win. “The momentum has allowed us to efficiently evolve our APIs to Smart Contracts so companies can immediately adopt distributed ledger technologies, leapfrog legacy infrastructure and allow new entrants into the market.”  

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