The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly exploring the potential benefits of using blockchain technology for medical data management. Officials at the CDC believe that distributed ledger technology could provide a solution for many of the challenges that the agency faces during disease outbreaks and other potential crisis situations.
When the CDC responds to health emergencies, they work with state and local officials to identify and isolate any potential disease outbreaks. That requires relevant agencies and health care entities to share data as quickly and efficiently as possible. During any actual outbreak of infectious disease, there is little time to waste. Unfortunately, the current data-sharing systems do not allow for the secure and speedy input and sharing of information needed to respond in the most effective and time-efficient manner possible.
According to a report from MIT Technology Today, the CDC Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services chief software architect, Jim Nasr, sees blockchain technology as a likely solution for these challenges.
Nasr has apparently been leading an effort to develop blockchain proofs of concept in hopes of developing applications that can manage these data-sharing needs, facilitate tracking for drug abuse, and provide the security needed for compliance with existing privacy laws. His group hopes to begin work on applications for the technology sometime next year.