Gem, the blockchain startup that started off as a Bitcoin API provider and since pivoted into blockchains, has launched its new product, Gem Health. This service, which uses a blockchain as its infrastructure to create and share data in real time, is specifically geared towards the healthcare sector. According to the official announcement, blockchains provide a good trade-off between data security and data availability and make them well suited for healthcare where certain data needs to be shared among providers, but without compromising or leaking this data to the public.
Gem, along with Chain, was one of the earlier Bitcoin API provider startups. However, like Chain, Gem too has pivoted into the blockchain space. However, as Chain works on the financial services sector, Gem has decided to create its own niche in non-financial use cases of blockchain technology.
Explaining the vision of this product, the announcement says
Blockchains will inevitably create a new fabric that connects the entire healthcare industry, weaving together critical data from every stage of the continuum of care. We believe that blockchain networks are a scalable solution for shared infrastructure that keeps critical patient data in the right hands.
We imagine a future where every patient holds the keys to their healthcare passport, bridging patient care among multiple providers and across borders. We imagine hospitals hiring more doctors and nurses on a budget recovered from wasted reconciliation expenses. We imagine labs, wearables, shopping lists, and healthcare apps working together to inform a healthier population.
Gem has chosen to build its structure on a private version of the Ethereum blockchain, at least for now. Notably, the healthcare giant Philips has agreed to be the first partner in this effort though the Philips blockchain lab. Gem seems to be working with a number of companies in different areas other than financial services, that is already a crowded space now with lots of well-funded startups.
Also, Gem appears to be positioning itself as a consultant to industries looking to explore blockchain technologies as opposed to running its own blockchains, and thus could gain some regulatory leeway.
Gem is running a bunch of pilot studies in this area, to explore it further. With the help of Gem, the hope is that the healthcare industry can come together and explore the use of blockchain technology for applications that make the existing process significantly better and more streamlined, while giving the end users control of their data and how they decide to share it.
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