Chinese health chiefs has put its plans to launch an internet hospital on ice for a few months – to allow operators the time to add a wide range of blockchain technology-powered innovation.
Per Cn-Healthcare, the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, a leading hospital in Dalian, Northeast China, said it is adding blockchain functionality to an ambitious new project that will involve treating patients with as a minimum of face-to-face contact – and a maximum of blockchain-powered tech wizardry.
The hospital said that its infrastructure is already in place, but will not complete blockchain integration until the end of the year. However, it claims it will have a pilot in place by January 2021 for what it will name the Internet Hospital of the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University.
The operators stated that patients will access the internet hospital services via a blockchain-powered WeChat applet, with all patient, consultation and treatment data recorded on a blockchain network.
The hospital said that its blockchain platform will ensure that data remains tamper-proof and transparent, speeding up and “smartifying” the treatment process.
The hospital also added that the process would be so seamless that patients and doctors alike would not even realize they were making use of blockchain technology, with the on-chain magic taking a distinctly backstage role at the “back-end” of the hospital’s operations.
However, there has been no shortage of delays to this pioneering project – with the hospital involved in consultation with the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology about data security issues. Medical records and blockchain networks are not yet comfortable bedfellows. The university hospital also stated that finding and training developers has also proved to be a challenge.
However, with the review and licensing process now apparently complete, China could well see its first “internet and blockchain hospital” open its (virtual) doors early next year.