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Socio-technical consideration for blockchain technology in healthcare

Wong, MC, Yee, KC ORCID: 0000-0003-2371-5327 and Nohr, C 2018 , 'Socio-technical consideration for blockchain technology in healthcare' , Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, vol. 247 , pp. 636-640 , doi:

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Blockchain technology is often considered as the fourth industrial revolution that will change the world. The enthusiasm of the transformative nature of blockchain technology has infiltrated healthcare. Blockchain is often seen as the much needed and perfect technology for healthcare, addressing the difficult and complex issues of security and inter-operability. More importantly, the "value" and trust-based system can deliver automated action and response via its smart contract mechanism. Healthcare, however, is a complex system. Health information technology (HIT) so far, has not delivered its promise of transforming healthcare due to its complex socio-technical and context sensitive interaction. The introduction of blockchain technology will need to consider a whole range of socio-technical issues in order to improve the quality and safety of patient care. This paper presents a discussion on these socio-technical issues. More importantly, this paper argues that in order to achieve the best outcome from blockchain technology, there is a need to consider a clinical transformation from "information" to "value " and trust. This paper argues that urgent research is needed to address these socio-technical issues in order to facilitate best outcomes for blockchain in healthcare. These socio-technical issues must then be further evaluated by means of working prototypes in the medical domain in coming years.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wong, MC and Yee, KC and Nohr, C
Keywords: Blockchain, socio-technical, disruptive innovation, information communication technology, quality and safety
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics
Publisher: IOS Press
ISSN: 0926-9630
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) and IOS Press. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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