Blockchain tech specialist Gem officially launched Gem Health today, an initiative aimed at promoting collaboration in the healthcare space centered on the emerging technology.
As part of the announcement, Gem unveiled its first partner on the effort, Philips, which will assist Gem as it seeks to build out a private Ethereum blockchain for use in the development of enterprise healthcare applications.
In interview, Gem CEO Micah Winkelspecht described the effort as a way to encourage the healthcare industry to explore the potential benefits blockchain could have in the creation of wellness apps, global patient ID software and secure electronic medical records.
Winkelspecht told CoinDesk:
"We're launching a network that will allow the healthcare companies to participate in pilots and build cross-industry applications to solve different use case. We're helping to establish that environment with companies that have been largely working in silos."
As part of this push, Winkelspecht said Gem is investing in communications channels and physical events aimed at the industry.
As for Gem's role in the management of its new private blockchain system, Winkelspecht said that the startup's intent is not to "own the network", but rather position itself as a consultant and match-maker for firms in the sector working on blockchain projects.
Winkelspecht framed the move as part of Gem's larger move toward offering enterprise services following its pivot from its original positioning as an API provider for bitcoin startups. Further, he spoke in broad terms about the benefits blockchain could have for healthcare, stressing the benefits technological improvements in the sector may have on society.
"This is a very large opportunity, but an important one. Healthcare affects everyone and we saw an opportunity to be able to help change an entire industry that."
Healthcare image via Shutterstock