US Health Department Hackathon to Focus on Blockchain Applications

An upcoming hackathon sponsored by the US health department aims to boost innovation in blockchain-based healthcare applications.

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:05 p.m. UTC

First blockchain came to help fintech, but can it also solve problems associated with healthcare? A government-supported code-a-thon aims to find out.

Jointly hosted by blockchain advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for the US Department of Health and Human Services, the event will hand out prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000 to coders who develop the best distributed ledger applications aimed at major US healthcare issues.

Applicants for the 14th–15th March event – to be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC – are required to use open-source blockchain-related software and follow all applicable medical legislation including HIPPAA, the privacy standard that all health IT systems must follow.

Notably, this isn’t the first blockchain competition hosted by the ONC. In August 2016, the office held a research competition in which it collected over 70 submissions related to blockchain-based healthcare technology.

For that event, the ONC paired with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to judge each white paper, with winning proposals including plans to use blockchains for medical-record security, inter-system information compatibility and anti-fraud protection.

Medical scan image via Shutterstock


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