A growing number of blockchain startups are launching products that use cryptocurrency’s technological building blocks to fix outdated health care models. Today, the healthcare application program interface  (API) platform PokitDok announced one such partnership with Intel. They will offer an open source blockchain ledger solution called Dokchain. It will use Intel chips to record transactions and the patient’s medical history, all while immediately processing the administrative aspects of the patient’s care. That means hospital staff can spend less time on bureaucracy and more time with patients.

Some blockchain experts say this technology could simplify the medical industry’s infrastructure, just like bitcoin uses blockchain ledgers for digital currency exchanges. PokitDok already has raised $48 million and garnered support from 40 industry influencers, including Amazon, Capital One, Guardian and Ascension. Although PokitDok attracted notable interest from established tech power players, that API platform isn’t the only game in town.

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“Estonia has done it and it works,” entrepreneur Chrissa McFarlane told International Business Times. “And they don’t have any issues with breach of patient health information.” Last year, Estonian authorities partnered with the blockchain security firm Guardtime to secure more than 1 million health care records. Estonia is now the first country to nationalize a blockchain healthcare system, which Quartz called “the world’s most hack-proof health care records.” Dubai’s healthcare ecosystem took note and is currently experimenting with its own blockchain solutions. .  

Meanwhile, many American hospitals and clinics still keep their recorders on internal servers. A 2015 survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society indiated around 4 percent of American hospitals spend more than $10 million a year on cybersecurity, and 33 percent of hospitals couldn’t estimate their cybersecurity costs. McFarlane was inspired by Estonia’s success to launch her own blockchain startup in Atlanta, Patientory, to offer a more affordable solution for health care providers.

“We’re building a blockchain network to secure patient health care information,” McFarlane said. “It’s encrypted and the information is cut up and distributed across the network, that helps secure the information.” This year Patientory will launch a nationwide pilot program with Kaiser Permanente, handling more than 25,000 records for chronically ill patients. Its system also has a corresponding app for patients, to help them communicate directly with their doctors.

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Even for patients who don’t need constant contact with their doctors, blockchain medical records could prove incredibly convenient. For example, a blockchain system could replace paperwork with a quick digital records transfer. It could also have wider implications for prescription drugs, billing and insurance.

“Instead of waiting 90-180 days for a claim to be processed, or spending hours on the phone trying to get your bill paid, it can in theory be processed on the spot,” TechCrunch reported. Could blockchain be a panacea for the broken health care system?

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently chose 15 research papers about blockchain innovation for healthcare, which will be discussed at a government-sponsored conference in September. Maybe the U.S. will be the next country to follow in Estonia’s footsteps.