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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Nov 1;24(6):1211-1220. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocx068.

Blockchain distributed ledger technologies for biomedical and health care applications.

Author information

1
UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
2
Division of Health Services Research and Development, Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Abstract

Objectives:

To introduce blockchain technologies, including their benefits, pitfalls, and the latest applications, to the biomedical and health care domains.

Target Audience:

Biomedical and health care informatics researchers who would like to learn about blockchain technologies and their applications in the biomedical/health care domains.

Scope:

The covered topics include: (1) introduction to the famous Bitcoin crypto-currency and the underlying blockchain technology; (2) features of blockchain; (3) review of alternative blockchain technologies; (4) emerging nonfinancial distributed ledger technologies and applications; (5) benefits of blockchain for biomedical/health care applications when compared to traditional distributed databases; (6) overview of the latest biomedical/health care applications of blockchain technologies; and (7) discussion of the potential challenges and proposed solutions of adopting blockchain technologies in biomedical/health care domains.

KEYWORDS:

blockchain; distributed ledger technology; health information exchange; interoperability; security

PMID:
29016974
PMCID:
PMC6080687
DOI:
10.1093/jamia/ocx068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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