We recently welcomed the dedicated team behind MedicalChain to our Telegram for a community AMA. Here's a breakdown of the highlights below:
- Founded by Dr Abdullah, (an Dr in the NHS) Medicalchain is solving key issues around privacy, consistency and interoperability of medical records by harnessing blockchain technology.
- They are currently integrating with two main GP systems that cover 80% of the UK market. Expectations are that in the next 2 quarters you will start to publicly see and be able to use MC integrations.
- Actively working on partnerships and joint ventures in US and China.
- Uses Hyperledger as blockchain, and Ethereum as token. And are working on a revision of the token model, exploring the idea of a security token.
Ben (ethfinex): Please all join me in welcoming Mo Tayeb (@mo_tayeb) to our community - welcome Mo and thank you for taking the time to join us today!
Ben: Nice, thanks for the video! 🙂
Mo Tayeb (MedicalChain): Thanks for having us!
Ben: Perhaps to kick things off and for some background, can you tell us a bit about how Medicalchain came into to existence? Who are the founders and how did you guys get together to start this?
Mo: @DrAAbdullah is a doctor in the NHS who co-founded an app to help hospitals produce better discharge summaries when patients were leaving hospital. At the time the documents being produced were not consistent and patients didn't always have their information being passed to doctors in a standardised way. I joined the company to look into how we expand the proposition and go beyond discharge summaries. We could see that blockchain technology is the future of managing secure assets in a decentralised way. If you think about the patient's record, that's an asset to the patient.
vrmax: How integrated are you guys with the NHS right now?
Mo: We are currently integrating with two main GP systems that cover 80% of the UK market. Our focus is NHS primary care then we will be moving to NHS secondary care. We expect that in the next 2 quarters you will start to publicly see and be able to use our integrations.
vrmax: Great stuff!! In the future would it be possible where patients could access their information and records in your distributed ledger?
Mo: Yes but important to note that our distributed ledger is more there to manage access control rather than store the data.
Henry Child: Hey @mo_tayeb, silly question but why do we need MedicalChain? Doesn't the current system work well-enough? And assuming not, have you got any good examples of where the current system has failed?
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti (Medicalchain): Hi, thanks for the question. I am working as a GP (family doctor) in the NHS (national health service) at the moment and I can certainly tell you the current system is not fit for purpose!
I can give you personal experiences as a doctor and from what my patients have told me. I have had patients attending Accident and Emergency (ER) with an infection for example. I am wanting to give the patient some antibiotics to get them better. The patient will tell me that they're allergic to something, but don't remember what, but their GP knows what it is. The ER system, GP system and pretty much all the health network is fragmented and disconnected.
The patient is under the false impression that their data is accessible by any doctor when it is not. It is limited to what is at that specific clinical site.
The challenge with the above example, is that I am playing Russian roulette with which antibiotic to prescribe this patient. Not because of a lack of the patient wanting me to know this, but because there is no way to access this information.
We have tried many systems in the past to solve this 'interoperability' problem and sadly these have failed.
Henry Child: Why does this require a blockchain solution? couldn't a shared database dot he same job?
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti: In the NHS we spent over £10b on a system called the spine which failed to deliver this solution.
[But] Yes, a shared database is the solution. But the question of security and access come into play.
You need a shared database which can be 'read' by patients, so that they can carry their medical information with them and share this with clinicians on the go. A system where a doctor can 'read' and 'write' to the patients records. In a distributed, trustless, decentralised fashion will not only make it secure but is planning for the future.
The idea of trustless is key here the point of blockchain is to 'remove the middleman' as we have seen in different industries using this technology. The middle man here is the doctor/clinic. For example, your travel insurer/health insurer has written to the doctor asking them to verify the information you have already told them in forms. The blockchain enables the patient to already have access to their certified information which they can freely share. Rather than waiting for the doctor to sign off on something the patient should already have access to.
Jeepers 2020: Hi Mo, you recently returned from attending four seminars in four days in Japan. I was wondering how did you find the reception to Medicalchain over there?
Mo: The reception is excellent. Countries in Asia are more optimistic about the adoption of blockchain technology. We have a concentrated community in Japan and they don't all speak English well so it's important to personally meet them and speak to individuals through translators.
Anneka Dew: If I'm a patient and my illness is impairing my mental ability, e.g. to remember passwords/ access keys, will I lose access to my medical data?
Mo: Not necessarily. You could manage access through a device such as bracelet or your finger print. You can even delegate access to your family.
Anneka Dew: can you see this being applicable to refugees with no official records / databases, moving through countries? Is there any risk of records falling into the wrong hands?
Mo Tayeb: Yes, absolutely. They may not have records today, but they could start somewhere to build a record history.
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti: We are speaking with some NGOs now to help with the Rohingya refugee situation.
Henry Child: @DrAAbdullah are there any countries that have something close to this kind of shared database system? I've heard Catalonia has something similar.
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti: The Scandinavian countries do. They have done a good job of allowing patients to have access to their records so that the patient can show this to different clinicians within their countries.
Ridvan: A blockchain based software?
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti: No, it is not.
Bio_logik: They have implemented it here in Sweden but I don't know to which extent the patient actually own their eHR. [e-health records).
EmmanuelEthfinexSupport: Thank you for your answers so far. I was wondering how do you see the project, in the long run, if everything is going according to the schedule. Let's say 3-5 years. Would it be limited to UK or are you planning on expanding it further?
Mo Tayeb: We are already working with an international focus. We are actively working on partnerships and joint ventures in US and China
Healthcare is complex and you need to have good local partners in the territories you expand to.
EmmanuelEthfinexSupport: Are you planning on migrating from the Ethereum blockchain in the near future?
Mo Tayeb: We are using Hyperledger as our blockchain and Ethereum as our token. As part of our security token exploration we could look to migrate but nothing has been planned yet.
Dan Y: I like the idea and think MedicalChain has an obvious use-case, but what purpose does the token serve in the ecosystem? Why couldn't I just use ETH instead?
Mo Tayeb: The token has a use case to power the network and be used as a method of conversion between different currencies when patients and doctors are speaking on an international level.
That said, we are currently working on a revision of our token model. We are also exploring the idea of a security token but we don't believe the market or exchanges are ready yet.
Dan Y: Is the medical records data itself on the blockchain?
Mo Tayeb: No. Medical data is large and can't be stored on the blockchain but you can encrypt it and store the hashes on Blockchain.
Alexis W: If health insurance companies get their hands on this data, or force users to hand it over before getting insurance then it will lead to many people not being able to get health insurance, or having to pay ridiculous premiums.
Mo Tayeb: This can be regulated. We are already seeing insurers giving discounts to drivers who agree to install a tracking device in their car.
Alexis W: Only healthy people could get insurance at a reasonable price.
Dan Y: If a user's private key/login becomes compromised is there a way to removed their records from the system/ rehash?
Mo Tayeb: Yes we have a solution for that.
Jeepers 2020: Hi Mo, Would you have any feedback from the Pilot Partnership currently ongoing with the Groves Medical Group?? Great to see an actual product in use.
Mo Tayeb: Yes, initially we had some tech issues, payment issues etc which we resolved. Then we got a massive list of features that needed to be added - ancillary to just speaking to a doctor. Soon you will hear about the public release of MyClinic.com V2 which will go out to multiple doctor clinics.
Jeepers 2020: This is great. Looking forward to MyClinic.com V2. And multiple doctor clinics.
Dr Abdullah Albeyatti: Fingers crossed, we are looking at a few months of very hard work but it is only a few months away.
Jeepers 2020: Great. One more question and then I stop. Would you have any more feedback regarding the joint working relationship with ‘Mayo Clinic’ in America that was signed last year?
Mo Tayeb: I can't say much on that other than wait and see. We have something big that is in the works.
Bio_Logik: What is the best incentive for either a private company or a public to get Medicalchain on board, put aside the blockchain aspect?
Mo Tayeb: Blockchain technology is the future in healthcare. Act now and do something amazing for your patients or die slowly and be forgotten.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.