The state of Illinois is expanding its work with blockchain, launching a pilot program aimed at applying the tech to the medical licensing process.
As reported last year by CoinDesk, the state unveiled a wide-ranging blockchain and cryptocurrency initiative last November. Illinois has since embarked on a multi-agency effort to explore public applications of the technology, while also releasing new rules for startups working with cryptocurrencies.
Now, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative has partnered with Hashed Health, a U.S.-based blockchain startup focused on medical applications, to see whether the tech can help streamline how medical licenses are issued and tracked.
The program's backers expect to build a license registry and medical credential-sharing system running on a blockchain, with smart contracts automatically updating information. The ultimate goal is to create an authentic and transparent chain of records for patients and healthcare provider networks.
The news is the latest signal out of Illinois that state officials are seriously looking at how to apply the techology to real-world problems. Illinois held a month-long hackathon focused on blockchain during June, and, the same month, a group of businesses launched a Chicago-based blockchain center backed by the government.
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