School of Economics & Management, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Available online: 2020-09-29
Blockchain is commonly considered a potential disruptive technology. Moreover, the healthcare industry has experienced rapid growth in the adoption of health information technology, such as electronic health records and electronic medical records. To guarantee data privacy and data security as well as to harness the value of health data, the concept of Health Data Bank (HDB) is proposed. In this study, HDB is defined as an integrated health data service institution, which bears no “ownership” of health data and operates health data under the principal–agent model. This study first comprehensively reviews the main characters of blockchain and identifies the blockchain-based healthcare industry projects and startups in the areas of health insurance, pharmacy, and medical treatment. Then, we analyze the fundamental principles of HDB and point out four challenges faced by HDB’s sustainable development: (1) privacy protection and interoperability of health data; (2) data rights; (3) health data supervision; (4) and willingness to share health data. We also analyze the important benefits of blockchain adoption in HDB. Furthermore, three application scenarios including distributed storage of health data, smart-contract-based healthcare service mode, and consensus-algorithm-based incentive policy are proposed to shed light on HDB-based healthcare service mode. In the end, this study offers insights into potential research directions and challenges.