Aetna and PNC Bank, major players in the medical space, are collaborating with IBM on a project that would improve the way sensitive medical data is shared as well as make health claims and transactions more efficient.
The solution will be a “blockchain-based ecosystem” and was announced two days ago. Aetna, acquired recently by health plan provider CVS Health, and PNC Bank, are additionally joined by Big Blue and the Health Care Service Corporation – the largest customer-owned health insurance provider in the U.S.
IBM general manager for payers at IBM Watson Health Barbara Hayes told CoinDesk:
IBM is one of the founding members, but everybody has an equal stake across those founding members. It’s so important because you do have competitors side by side who are going after tremendous amounts of waste that is in the healthcare system; 40 cents, 50 cents on the dollar.
Hayes further added that, insights, advanced predictions, and elimination of multiple inefficiencies are needed if they were to transform industries such as healthcare.
IBM general manager of intellectual property Dr. Bill Lafontaine, added:
We are going to provide the SDKs and other ways to link to the platform. We are leaving this very open because many of the members are bringing different technologies that they have already been investing in and so they get a faster return on that investment.
That being said, IBM is not the only firm trying to put blockchain tech to good use in the context of the healthcare industry. Change Healthcare, Hashed Heatlh, Guardtime, and many others have already embarked on similar journeys.