Mount Sinai Hospital’s New York-based medical school has established a blockchain research center to explore its medical use case applications.

The Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research is set to be part of the hospital’s Institute for Next Generation Healthcare. The institute currently hosts 50 specialist researchers studying progressive healthcare solutions, including the application of robotics, artificial intelligence, wearable medical devices, sensors, and genomic sequencing.

Blockchain use-cases to be researched include drug development, drug tracking and authentication, improved research reproducibility, and use in clinical trials. Predictive health applications are also on the agenda, with studies planned to investigate the possibilities of utilizing electronic health record information gained from wearable devices to prevent future health problems.

Director of health data and design innovation, Noah Zimmerman, was careful to point out the institute would add a degree of academic rigor to the blockchain sector. He acknowledged there could be no singular technological solution to ”save healthcare” and he was careful to avoid becoming merely part of the ”blockchain hype cycle“. He believes the institute has a balanced, academic approach to its research.

Executive vice president of precision health at Mount Sinai, Joel Dudley, has been positioned to run the research center. His previous experience in the sector includes time as a senior data scientist at Pivotal Software where the use of artificial intelligence in biology is studied, as well as working to design predictive healthcare models.

Teaming up

The institute’s plans began by bringing together 144 companies involved in blockchain healthcare projects and creating a database of shared information. The combined total of funds raised through initial coin offerings by the companies involved is USD 670 million.

CoverUs is included in the group, offering its project which allows patients to gain financially from their own health data via a blockchain-backed exchange, as is Embleema, a venture which brings together patient health data and electronic medical records in a secure format.


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