The term interoperability, apart from being difficult to say, is an age old challenge in healthcare and is used to explain the level to which data systems speak to each other. The problem is that a lot of Electronic Health Records (EHR's) in the UK are siloed, so such communication is limited.
If nationwide data communication is to be achieved, a system must be both robust and scalable. These are two features of our decentralised database. With decentralisation, not only are those with granted access able to reach vital information from wherever they may be, but they can do so with the confidence that records are complete and up-to-date, and don't just include information from one soloed clinic, for example. However, traditional blockchains are difficult to scale and inefficient at doing so as the time that data can be written to the network (latency) goes up as nodes on the network go up. We are building a product that achieves sub-second latency at scale and are collaborating with technology partners on this - to be announced soon.
So why is nationwide, or even global interoperability important? Well, in the US for example “This lack of data sharing costs 150,000 lives and $18.6 billion per year" according to Premier Healthcare Alliance. So not a small problem. Without a full patient profile, not only are doctors unable to give complete patient care, but other technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), are restricted from achieving the life changing characteristics that we know possible. These technologies offer significant value to doctors as tools to speed up diagnosis, reduce error and minimise the pressure currently being forced on NHS clinicians.
It is therefore key that the mobility of data becomes as frictionless as possible and at Lacuna Health we believe a blockchain powered EHR exchange is the answer.