US Government Issues Call for Blockchain Healthcare Research

The US Department of Health and Human Services is soliciting research papers related to blockchain applications in healthcare and health research.

Jul 6, 2016 at 8:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. UTC

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting research papers related to blockchain applications in healthcare and health research.

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, HHS is seeking white papers that explore how the technology can be leveraged for healthcare purposes. The submission date is 29th July, with the winners set to be announced late next month.

The only stipulations, the notice states, is that papers shouldn’t be longer than 10 pages and that no more than three papers should be submitted by any one researcher or group.

Further, the department asks that any submission "educate its audience on the technology", explaining:

"The paper should discuss the cryptography and underlying fundamentals of blockchain technology, examine how the use of blockchain can advance industry interoperability needs expressed in the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, patient centered outcomes research (PCOR), precision medicine, and other health care delivery needs, as well as provide recommendations for blockchain’s implementation."

The Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap was published last fall as part of a bid to support greater interoperability between healthcare data networks in the US.

Winners will be invited to present their work at a “Blockchain and Healthcare Workshop” that will be co-hosted by the department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Though the date was not listed, the notice states that winner presentations will take place near the end of September.

The solicitation represents the first time HHS has sought entries related to the technology. In the past, other parts of the US government like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense have actively looked into possible applications.

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