All three blockchain experts advised the first questioner that her Information Technology department should understand how blockchain can improve security. And if they have doubts, Chang pointed out, they could look to other sectors for reassurance. “Do you think these large financial institutions would be willing to put their financial data kind on a blockchain system if they didn't think it was secure?"
In addition, Chang noted, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is running a pilot project testing how blockchain can secure information sharing across healthcare enterprises. “They know this is a long-term, potential game-changer, so they are testing this out, looking for holes, looking for ways people would hack in. And so far, what I've heard, is that it's been successful."
Addressing the second question—about blockchain governance in a world where multiple partners are participating in transactions—Chang described how Walmart and its partners formed a governance board consisting of representatives from each company. “They make the business rules, they make the procedural rules, and then IBM is just the administrator of the network," Chang said.
And finally, on the topic of physician burnout, Chang, Mackey, and Vaught all agreed that blockchain could potentially help, but that how it could do so remains to be seen. Farmers in Walmart's supply chain, Chang said, are using a mobile app to digitally record transactions and reduce their paperwork, and those same gains in efficiency could translate to healthcare. More likely, though, it will be other technologies, including machine learning, that reduce the charting that physicians have to do.
In the end, Rajalingam noted, the Cardinal Health ACHE panel “just scratched the surface" of blockchain's potential impact on healthcare. As the technology moves forward, there will be other discussions, he said—and more answers for industry leaders as well.