Factom Inc., a company that provides businesses and governments with blockchain solutions to manage and store their data, has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build a medical records system for the organization.
The technology will provide identity management and improve healthcare information management. The globally distributed records will be accessible anywhere and by any authorized person with biometric verification.
The solution will be targeted at developing nations where medical records are historically documented on paper and stored by clinics, posing a problem when people move or if a region is destabilized. It will provide medical professionals and clinics with “the tools they need to treat disease and coordinate care in the ever-shifting environment of the developing world,” the company said.
“The Gates Foundation can use this technology to improve delivery of vaccines, HIV relief efforts, and other diseases by having a tool that is border-less and can follow the patient throughout their life regardless of where they end up in the world,” a spokesperson for Factom told CoinJournal.
“The foundation already supports many of these efforts but Factom’s technology can help them manage it better by putting control of patient information into the hands of patients and their providers of care.”
For instance, with the use of a smartphone, a medical professional would be able to look up the vaccination record for a baby born in a remote area and make sure they receive the correct vaccinations or an HIV-infected person would be able to access their viral load measurement results.
Factom has already been involved in a healthcare-related project, having partnered with HealthNautica, a medical records and services solutions provider, in April 2015 on a similar project. The collaboration aimed at using Factom’s immutable ledger to verify and time-stamp medical records and claims. The purpose was to achieve efficiency in claims processing, ensure the integrity of medical records, while still maintaining patient privacy.
Another blockchain startup that has recently set sights on the healthcare industry is Gem, which announced in July Gem Health, a network for developing applications and shared infrastructure for healthcare powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The Philips Blockchain Lab, a research and development center of healthcare giant Philips, was the first major provider to join the Gem Health network.
This is the second grant Factom has received this year. In June, the company was awarded US$199,000 by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to advance the security of digital identity for Internet-of-Things devices.
Factom raised US$4.2 million in a Series A funding round in October. The round, led by Tim Draper of Draper Associates, included participation from Fenbushi Corporation from China, Plug and Play, BnkToTheFuture, Propertyinfo Corporation, Star Vista Capital, LLC, CashBUS, as well as angel investors Kevin Spiers and Darla Spiers, Hillary Ryan, Leon Fu, among others.