IBM has announced that it plans to work with Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and PNC Bank to design a blockchain-based ecosystem for the healthcare industry.
Through the partnership, the companies aim to create a blockchain system where they can develop, share and deploy solutions that accelerate digital transformation in the healthcare industry.
IBM says that the blockchain technology will reduce administrative errors ensuring that healthcare information is shared efficiently.
It will also help to enhance patient care and reduce excessive costs.
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"We are committed to improving the healthcare consumer experience and making our healthcare system work more effectively," said Claus Jensen, chief technology officer at Aetna.
"Through the application of blockchain technology, we'll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data."
The companies hope to remedy a number of challenges in the healthcare sector. For instance, they aim to make claims and payment processing more efficient, enable the frictionless exhange of information and maintain accurate provider directories.
Lori Steele, general manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM, added: “Blockchain's unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled, and transparent way.
"The fact that these major healthcare players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the healthcare system and ultimately improve the patient experience."