CDC to Trial Blockchain With IBM in Bid to Manage Medical Data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly teaming up with IBM to test blockchain.

Oct 26, 2017 at 5:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:04 a.m. UTC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has signed an agreement with IBM Watson Health to research the use of blockchain for storing and exchanging medical data.

According to a report by the Fast Company, Shahram Ebadollahi, IBM’s chief science officer revealed the partnership during an event hosted on Monday.

Ebadollahi said that that the effort is an extension of the tech giant's existing research initiative with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Announced earlier this year, that initiative with the FDA is aimed at testing a blockchain-based platform through which electronic medical records, clinical trials, and health data gathered from wearable devices could be better shared.

“This is, in essence, an extension of the work we’ve been doing this year with the FDA...exploring owner-mediated data exchange using blockchain," Ebadollahi remarked at the event.

Indeed, the CDC is no stranger to the technology. Last month, as reported by CoinDesk, the CDC – which operates within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is chiefly responsible for preventing and responding to disease outbreaks – is looking at the tech as a way to capture critical information during crisis situations more effectively.

HHS, too, is one of several U.S. government departments that is exploring the use of blockchain, particularly in the area of medical administration.

Image via Wikimedia

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