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A partnership between Alibaba and a Chinese city government to secure healthcare data over a blockchain is set to become the pioneering application of its kind in the country’s medical sector.

Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd., or Ali Health, will collaborate with the government of the city of Changzhou in eastern China to connect the city’s existing infrastructure of medical treatment systems, according to a report by Chinese publication Yicai Global. Ali Health is conglomerate Alibaba Group’s flagship healthcare platform.

Underlining the pilot as the “first blockchain application based on medical treatment scenarios in China”, Ali health’s blockchain tech lead Liu Tie sees a number of advantages bought on by the integration of blockchain technology. Authorized doctors will instantly be made aware of a patient’s medical history and any accompanying information about health examinations. This, Liu adds, will help doctors avoid any repeat of basic health exams to deliver patient care in a quicker, efficient and cheaper manner.

While details are scarce, Ali Health will install several “data security nets” for the city project wherein sensitive medical data will “be stored and transferred in ciphertext”. The data will only be accessible with those with operational privileges over a traceable and tamper-proof blockchain. The pilot project will also look at data security concerns that have long plagued the healthcare industry with a blockchain solution that is less-expensive, more effective and highly secure.

The blockchain will notably be compatible with existing medical systems, paving the way for a quicker implementation of the technology on a commercial scale.


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Speaking to the publication, Zhang Zhihong, director at the Zhenglu Town Health Center in Changzhou stated:

Ali Health’s blockchain technology connects information by using our current equipment and systems. It is cost effective and safe. With blockchain, health centers and district hospitals are interconnected so that the people can enjoy convenient medical services.

The Alibaba Group is already involved in several blockchain endeavors, including a partnership with Australia Post to use the technology in cracking down on counterfeit food imports to China.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Samburaj Das