Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne says Blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies, it “will save lives.”
Chris Fearne, who is also the country’s health minister, spoke at the Malta Delta Summit this week of the possible use of Blockchain in healthcare. The technology could be used in making patient health records more accessible across borders and medical institutions, as well as in storing the records in a safer way thus lowering the costs of clinical trials.
“While today patient data is held by healthcare institutions with patients required to ask to be granted access to it, Blockchain technology could reverse this. Before, everyone in the hospital had access to this data except for the patient. This is unacceptable as the data should belong to the patient,” said Fearne.
Blockchain, he said, would allow patients access to their health records all around the world using only a key that they could give to a doctor abroad. That would allow a faster and more efficient treatment.
“Private doctors having immediate access to public health records is essential for us to provide continuity of care,” said Fearne, alluding to a recently implemented platform allowing private doctors and their patients to access public health records online.
“Data will be owned by the individual, not the authorities,” he added.
The minister said that the use of Blockchain would also make clinical trials cheaper and help to stop the spread of counterfeit drugs. The latter ensured by the traceability characteristics of Blockchain.