IBM and CDC blockchain project uses records stored on cloud

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IBM and the US Centers for Disease Control are teaming up to build a blockchain and cloud-based data system that could track public health issues including opioid addiction.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics already collects copious amounts of health data from surveys, and the new system would include medical records obtained through hospital record systems. Those records would be stored, as encrypted files, on the IBM Cloud.

Only people authorized as members of the blockchain would have access to the data. “There’s a consent service that is running in our cloud,” David McElroy, a blockchain technical lead for the IBM federal government unit, told Fast Company.

The would keep the data secure while the cloud component would make it accessible to researchers looking to find out more about why patients are visiting care providers and the symptoms they display.

IBM and the CDC have already tested the system using simulated data and believe it could make it easier for the CDC to survey medical providers and possibly capture additional datasets.

Find out more about the project at Fast Company.

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