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Healthcare organizations to set pace for blockchain adoption in 2017 – IBM Institute for Business Value

In a new survey, IBM Institute for Business Value has found that healthcare organizations are moving fast in the sphere of blockchain adoption, seemingly faster than the financial industry.

IBM Institute for Business Value blockchain study surveyed 200 healthcare executives – both payers and providers in 16 countries. The study showed that 16% of those surveyed, termed as “Trailblazers”, expect to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale in 2017. In contrast, the survey of banks and financial market enterprises showed that just 15% and 14% respectively, plan to be at commercial scale in 2017.

The survey results further revealed that 6 in 10 healthcare Trailblazers expect blockchain will help them access new markets, and new and trusted information they can keep secure. In addition, 7 in 10 healthcare Trailblazers expect the greatest blockchain benefits to be in clinical trial records, regulatory compliance and medical/ health records.

“Trailblazers are leading the charge with real-world blockchain applications that they expect to take down the frictions that hold them back”, the report said.

The survey also sought respondents’ views on the frictions that might hamper blockchain adoption. The top frictions that healthcare executives believe could reduce using blockchain include imperfect information, information risks and inaccessible information.

In addition, 52% of respondents are concerned that regulatory constraints could stall adoption, while 56% of organizations view immature technology as a barrier. 7 in 10 cited the need for a robust mechanism to establish identity and a high degree of control over access.

The report said that Trailblazers are already working on the new business and technology standards required for scale. Also, as blockchains could make it easier to enforce regulations, regulators have every reason to collaborate with institutions in the healthcare industry, it added.

“Despite their expectations of transformative innovation, healthcare institutions, including Trailblazers, aren’t anticipating significant disruption. They may believe that regulatory constraints will keep new competitors and models in check”, it said. “Regardless, healthcare institutions are going all-in – investing heavily in blockchain pilots, with nine in ten respondents planning to invest by 2018 across all business areas we surveyed them about.”

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