US Patent & Trademark Office approves Walmart’s blockchain health patent
Mega US chain Walmart has recently revealed that it has won its blockchain patent for use within the use of storing medical records, which it submitted in December last year.
With the use of health wearables, a biometric scanner and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, health information will be able to be seamlessly shared with medical professionals, providing up-to-date, accurate information, particularly for those with long-term health conditions or those who take more than one prescription.
Through the use of secure ledger technology, first responders and health providers would gain the ability to unlock and access essential medical data in the case of emergencies, even when a patient is unresponsive.
In its patent application, Walmart has stated:
“The medical record of the patient is stored on a blockchain and includes an encrypted private key and a public key associated with the patient, stored on a wearable device of the patient.”
The wearable will therefore store emergency patient information only, the biometric scanner will work to help medical professionals to establish the identity of the patient, whereas the RFID technology will work to scan the wearable for health data.
- Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase announce its new CEO to transform healthcare
- The first comprehensive blockchain-supported Personal Care Record Platform has been launched
- Patient Authentication can help healthcare reclaim billions from fraud
The use of blockchain within the healthcare is gaining traction as technology focused companies turn towards the industry, which is undergoing a significant transformation. The use of blockchain appeals further to professionals due to the complexity in altering data within electronic medical records as a result, Walmart has explained.
BIS Research has also found that blockchain in healthcare is estimated to grow over $5.61bn by the end of 2025, and will introduce transparency, the elimination of third-party intermediaries, and streamline operational processes and escalating costs.
The industry has undergone a number of mergers and acquisitions in order to implement an increasingly consumer/patient-led business model and remain competitive.
From Walmart’s ongoing plans to purchase health insurance provider Humana and discussions to acquire virtual pharmacy PillPack, Microsoft, Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet have also filed for over 300 health care patents between 2013-2017, according to Ernst & Young.
Blockchain will enable the ability for healthcare to move towards a value-based system, improve patient engagement and even open opportunities for the introduction of more consumer-centric product segments and revenue streams.
It could also save the healthcare industry up to $100-$150bn per year by 2025 in data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations costs, support function costs and personnel costs, and through a reduction in frauds and counterfeit products, the report has found.
OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in.
Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists.
The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI.
Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.
But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company.
AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation.
OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees.
This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace.
The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.
Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process.
As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer.