Mount Sinai Hospital Opens a Blockchain Lab for Biomedical Research

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has opened a dedicated blockchain laboratory to explore its potential use case in healthcare applications. They will be evaluating how some blockchain-enabled solutions work while also providing partnerships and consulting services with companies that are also working on similar projects.

The Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research (CBBR) will be focusing on solutions that are related to biomedical data management, machine learning, and data governance. The research will also try its hand at building and testing their own blockchain-enabled apps within the Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Joel Dudly, the chief of the CBBR, and the Executive Vice President of Precision Health at Mount Sinai did express concerns about how hard it is to share healthcare information with traditional systems. And with the help of these blockchain solutions, it will help the research center improve data analytics and machine learning. But that’s not all. Dr. Dudly thinks that blockchain can potentially help drastically improve many things on the ground as well such as supporting a more unified healthcare ecosystem.

Here’s what he said:

“We expect that some early use cases could emerge from areas where existing systems and approaches fall short. We see the potential for blockchain and related technologies to enable applications that support more unified healthcare ecosystems and serve the greater goals of realizing national and global precision health networks.”

And while that might seem like something from the future, it is definitely fascinating to see how far we have come and how much we need to work to go where we want to go.

But having a unified health ecosystem is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Dr. Noah Zimmerman, who will be overseeing the CBBR’s R&D of data-driven technologies to improve decision-making in health care, he expects that with the help of this research, they will be able to improve healthcare delivery while also being able to reduce medical costs.

This is just the beginning of the blockchain revolution in the healthcare industry. Soon we could be seeing all types of applications once this research starts yielding its results. According to a Statista report, almost 55% of the healthcare applications will be using blockchain technology for commercial deployment as soon as 2025.

Another study that was published by BIS Research predicts that blockchain-based healthcare applications will attract over $5.61 billion by 2025.

But right now, the blockchain-enabled healthcare industry is relatively small. A survey was done by IBM in late 2017 found out that only 16% of the 200 healthcare executives were expecting to have a commercial blockchain solution by the end of 2018.

But given the fact that there are so many broad possibilities when it comes to blockchain solutions, I couldn’t help but think that this might be the time when blockchain becomes one of the most important pillars of the digital world.

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