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How Permissioned Blockchains Can Protect and Empower Patients to Manage Their Health Data

September 22, 2022

- 4 Minute Read

Most - if not all - of us have encountered blockchain in the ever-changing landscape of data management and trading technology.

Blockchain technology is commonly associated with crypto or token-based models, where data is decentralized across peer-to-peer networks for organizations and applications. But there is another use of this technology, permissioned blockchains, that has high potential for implementation across the healthcare system. In this blog, Thrive Health and emTRUTH will outline just how this works, and address some common myths around how blockchain can be used for health data management.

Blockchain technology implements a distributed ledger or database across the nodes of a computer network. Blockchain is a list of records, called blocks, that are securely linked together using cryptography, where each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.

A useful way of outlining the differences between token-based blockchains and permissioned blockchains is to understand an application versus an encryption. A crypto or token-based model (i.e. Bitcoin, Ethereum) is an application. In contrast, blockchain technology is encryption, and therefore does not need to use the same formula to create a coin or token representing the asset. emTRUTH and Thrive Health use this technology to further secure healthcare data by capturing actual data assets inside blockchains, making the data the asset.

To further illustrate why blockchain as an encryption technology is favourable to a token-based model, here are three key reasons centered around making healthcare more efficient, secure, and patient-centric:

  1. Patient Data Protection and Security:

Healthcare data is highly protected and sensitive, hence why we need to control data access. Traditionally, crypto-based models mean that there is no way of knowing where the data comes from, and the data is public by default. In a distributed data management application, blockchain technology allows users to protect and provide access to data with patient consent for only those authorized to see it.

  1. Speed of Transactions:

Operational healthcare systems require efficient, sustainable and reliable transactions to keep up with their fast-paced environments. However, most healthcare systems average 4-15 transactions per second, which is nowhere near the required speed for high-functioning operations.

Thrive Health and emTRUTH’s patented technology allows systems to overcome this hurdle. Transactions are two orders of magnitude (i.e. 1000s per second) faster and designed for distributed data management at the enterprise level. Furthermore, this technology treats data as an asset within a blockchain making it more secure with encryption at a more granular level.

  1. Sustainability and Scalibility:

Blockchain systems of a public and anonymous nature are inherently trustless due to the lack of validity and data from unknown sources. Organizations usually use an intensive method such as coin mining to verify and validate these systems. However, these exhaustive methods can negatively impact the environment due to the amount of energy required to authenticate this data, rendering it unsustainable.

However, using methods of consensus (e.g. proof of stake, proof of authority, proof of history) that are less intensive enables a sustainable and scalable method across the healthcare industry.

Thrive Health and emTRUTH have partnered to transform the healthcare industry with innovative blockchain technology that protects personal health information and keeps it secure. To learn more about working with our teams, please contact discover@thrive.health and info@emtruth.com.

Calgary (June 6th-10th):

  • A fun and informative tour of the University of Calgary's Simulation Health Center, featuring innovative, simulative technology for health professionals to improve patient outcomes
  • Cesar, a member of our Customer Solutions team, preparing everyone a special Colombian breakfast with arepas, sausages, eggs and hot chocolate
  • Friends, families and colleagues gathering for an outdoor summer BBQ

Toronto (June 13th-18th):

  • Gathering together to work in the Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport
  • Enjoying dinner at Amsterdam Brewhouse with a beautiful ocean view
  • Joining the Integra Health team for a tour of their clinic and wellness services, such as massages and skin treatments
  • Gathering with our customers and partners for an event filled with fun, socializing, and delicious food and cocktails by the pool

Vancouver (June 27th-30th):

  • Working together at our office space downtown with different teams coming together, all while enjoying delicious breakfast, fresh coffee and lots of snacks!
  • Company town hall: discussing our progress so far this year, the road ahead, and our goals, giving us time to reflect and look to the future
  • Wrapping up the week with a picnic in Flora's Field, Kitsilano while enjoying the sun, food, drinks, and friendly competitions

Monday, March 28

Hosted by our Development team

- Our inaugural Thrive Health ping-pong tournament

- Welcome dinner for our team members who flew in for the week

Tuesday, March 29

Hosted by our Product and Marketing teams

-Volunteering at a local women’s shelter, and preparing care packages for people experiencing homelessness

-Sushi-making workshop! M Sushi stopped by our Thrive office and prepared an amazing assortment of sushi for our team, while giving us the opportunity to design our own rolls - and even use the blow-torch.

Wednesday, March 30

Hosted by our Customer Success, Support, and Solutions teams

-Parfait Breakfast Bar to fuel us up for the day ahead

-Coaching workshop for our leadership and management teams, to provide us with new and exciting ways to think about growing our individual teams and continuously offering new leadership opportunities

-Commercial-themed cocktail hour and pizza night, followed by a stroll at beautiful Stanley Park

Thursday, March 31

Hosted by our Admin & Strategic Initiatives teams

-Coming together as a team for a mindfulness session hosted by Peak Wellness that gave us time to destress, check in with ourselves, and be reminded of the importance of getting in touch with our emotions

Friday, April 1

Hosted by our Executive team

-Company fireside chat, where we discussed our vision, goals, and key initiatives for the remainder of 2022, giving us time to celebrate in all of our exciting work ahead

-Ending off the week with a pub social at Colony Granville, featuring a (mildly) competitive bocce tournament!

Our Q1 2022 Onsite Week not only brought a lot of joy and laughter, but gave us the opportunity to come together as a team and connect after a long period of working remotely during the pandemic. We are already looking forward to our next onsite week, and continuing to grow the connections and friendships we have formed.

Monday, March 28

Hosted by our Development team

- Our inaugural Thrive Health ping-pong tournament

- Welcome dinner for our team members who flew in for the week