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US Regulations are a Hindrance for Blockchain Startups Tackling the Healthcare Industry

by on October 8, 2017
 

Blockchain technology is the next frontier for companies to tackle. Especially in the healthcare industry, there are plenty of opportunities waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, firms in the US aren’t making a lot of headway in this regard. The situation is very different in the European, Canadian, and even Asian sector. This “battle for power” will have some interesting ramifications over the next few years.

Healthcare and blockchain seem to be two peas in the same pod. Better technology with no central point of failure and immutability is a must-have in this sector. Unfortunately, US regulations prevent blockchain technology from making much headway. This also affects any startup looking to tackle this industry. A lot of those firms are now moving their focus to international waters. Canada and Europe are two of the regions where real progress can be made.

US Healthcare Regulations Hinder Blockchain Growth

The rigid privacy laws in the US make it difficult to record anything on a ledger. Additionally, there are far too many intermediaries to contend with as of right now. Plus, a few vendors have effectively cornered the market, which makes competition all but impossible. Stifling innovation in the healthcare sector is something all companies need to avoid. That is not the case in the US and it is doubtful this situation will change in the future.

IncentHealth.io’s co-founder Daniel Schott comments as follows:

“Innovators in the healthcare space are definitely looking for use cases that do not involve Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulation. Because healthcare blockchain use cases face U.S. regulatory hurdles and the slow pace of technology adoption within healthcare, I will be looking to Canada as a space to further develop the IncentHealth prototype and find partner organizations.”

At the same time, we see major healthcare providers embrace blockchain technology as well. Tieto in Scandinavia is more than willing to experiment with distributed ledgers. A decentralized health model is of great importance to this firm and other companies in Europe. All of this will hinge on whether or not consumers can embrace the change. People aren’t too comfortable with the idea of having healthcare information shared with others. A paradigm shift will have to take place before real progress can be made.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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