US healthcare has gained a significant Blockchain player as UnitedHealth looks to clean up doctor directories.
Under a new joint scheme, the conglomerate’s Optum subsidiary will work with several other industry players to address US doctor directories, over 50% of which contain incorrect information, according to the government.
“Industry estimates indicate that $2.1 billion is spent annually across the health care system chasing and maintaining provider data,” the joint statement reads.
“The pilot will examine how sharing data across health care organizations on blockchain technology can improve data accuracy, streamline administration and improve access to care.”
The move marks a major step forward in Blockchain exposure for US healthcare, UnitedHealth currently ranking sixth in the country on the Fortune 500 with 2017 revenue exceeding $200 bln.
Health claims are often delayed due to a mismatch in data provided by claimants and the actual records, Blockchain’s immutable ledger being perfectly adapted to avoid inconsistencies.
“This is likely one of the very first nationwide healthcare blockchain alliances,” Optum senior distinguished engineer Mike Jacobs continued in comments to local news outlet Star Tribune.
“Health care in general is just getting started on understanding what the appropriate uses are of this technology.”
Worldwide, an increasingly broad array of startups are also attempting to tackle various problems in the healthcare industry using Blockchain technology.