AMA Incubator Invests $10 Million in Blockchain Health Startup

A blockchain startup received $10 million in funding from an American Medical Society backed incubator to develop a healthcare data transfer ledger.

AccessTimeIconJan 5, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:20 a.m. UTC
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Blockchain startup Akiri has received $10 million in Series A funding to develop a distributed ledger platform for health data.

Announced on Jan. 3, the fund was granted by Health2047, a technology incubator company launched by the American Medical Association (AMA). The platform, called Akiri Switch, will be a “network-as-a-service” tool meant to securely transfer private healthcare data including patient records across the U.S. healthcare system.

According to the announcement, the network is designed to validate both the source and destination of a data transaction by combining a blockchain base with other privacy and routing tools to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access.

James Madara, the AMA’s chief executive, said the healthcare field should adopt technologies which could change existing systems.

"The data liquidity problem that physicians and other healthcare stakeholders currently face needs to be solved because it's one of the biggest barriers to improving the patient-physician relationship."

Such initiative is seen as the latest that aims to apply the blockchain technology to the healthcare industry.

In August last year, the Medical Society of Delaware also announced a proof-of-concept proposal which would create a ledger for patient records accessible by healthcare providers and insurers.

Some experts also believe blockchain-based platforms can also answer administrative needs in healthcare. A lead IT architect for the US Health and Human Services Department, Debbie Bucci, said payment records can be put on a blockchain, along with other records accessible both publicly and by officials.

The department had previously asked for academic papers outlining potential use cases for blockchain, and received some 70 submissions.

Physician image via Shutterstock

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