HIMSS19 to offer a look at how HHS is approaching blockchain

03 Jan 2019 | SOURCE: Healthcare IT News

himss19 blockchain

As blockchain continues to spark interest and innovative pilot projects across all corners of healthcare, one area that’s still taking shape is the policy framework that could emerge around to shape how the technology is developed and deployed in the years ahead.

At HIMSS19, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are scheduled to offer some updates on how the agency approaches new and fast-evolving technologies such a blockchain.

Policymakers will discuss HHS’ current blockchain strategy and offer their perspectives on how they see distributed ledger technology continuing to have an impact in the near and longer-term future.

They’ll also give some insights into their considerations as they weigh approaches to help ensure the blockchain tools developed in the private sector can have the biggest and most beneficial impact on healthcare delivery.

The session will offer perspective on HHS’ “decision-making processes, with a focus on what makes a new idea stand out, and how technology can become part of the design guidelines that can have far-reaching implications on how we tackle the big problems facing our country today,” according to HIMSS.

HIMSS Media has been focused on blockchain all December long. So far we’ve shown how CIOs should be approaching the technology, which is already at work in leading health systems such as Mayo Clinic and Mass General.

Familiarization with the emerging tech is key since it could soon be helping to transform electronic health records, the healthcare supply chain and much more elsewhere.

As HHS weighs how and when to set policies around blockchain, it’s also working hard to spur the advancement of novel applications and use cases for DLT, through initiatives such as the Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-related Research Challenge hosted this year by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

HHS is also putting blockchain to work within the agency itself: The new HHS Accelerate platform, for instance, leverages DLT’s ability to more efficiently manage data, helping it make acquisitions more quickly and less expensively.

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