The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world the value of digital technologies and demonstrated their increasingly vital role in healthcare. During 2020, VeChain, alongside I-Dante, collaborated to work on blockchain-enabled medical solutions, co-developing the E-HCert App – an archival solution for COVID-19 RT-PCR and antibody test records. The solution was implemented at the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus and between June to August, recorded the test results of more than 8,000 people who subsequently used them as part of the flight arrival process at the International Airport of Larnaca.
Driven by proven value in a real-world setting, the E-HCert App is now launching its latest iteration; a Digital Lab Test Wallet offering an ecosystem of blockchain-enabled services, bringing medical test results to the hands of patients whilst healthcare authorities maintain the integrity of the data. After demonstrating efficacy in the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus, another top-of-the-line private medical facility, Aretaeio Hospital, has joined the VeChain ToolChain™ platform and integrated the E-HCert App throughout its lab testing services.
Blockchainizing The Digital Transformation of Lab Information Systems
The hospital laboratories of Cyprus produce large volumes of data, including extensive paper trails relating to lab test results for patients. The system currently relies on ‘Laboratory Information Systems’ (LIS) that helps specialists manage data resulting from a series of complex tests and activities.
The current process contains multiple deficiencies. Firstly, the patient has to wait days for the completion of all tests prior to receiving results. In addition, the hospital laboratory has to contact the patient, deliver physical test results whilst the patient has to then maintain a hard copy of the results in good condition to ensure access to subsequent healthcare services.
As healthcare systems undergo rapid integration with new digital tools, the need for compliance with data privacy policies such as GDPR becomes increasingly vital. Conversely, patients need a legally compliant, private and secure method to view and share their own health information.
Blockchain technology represents the best opportunity to radically reshape the current paradigm and change the delivery of healthcare, test results, therapeutics, diagnostics as well as advance the process and security of information exchange between parties.
E-HCert and VeChain as an Instrument for Patient, Hospital & Government
E-HCert represents a new category of healthcare record system that combines interoperability, immutability, traceability and compliance. For Aretaeio Hospital, after the patient takes a lab test, results will be automatically uploaded to the E-HCert application and the VeChainThor public blockchain. Built on VeChain ToolChain™, the E-HCert wallet can be securely accessed using private credentials given to the patient after a registration process in the Hospital. Once complete, the data is readily accessible to its owner, available for use to prove his or her health status as required.
The solution also provides a blockchain-based Web Portal that allows doctors to request the medical records of patients, creating a trusted and transparent communication mechanism between physician and patient.
The platform maintains GDPR compliance by ensuring personal data remains under full control of the owner, granting access to government authorities, employers or other parties at the sole discretion of the owner whilst massively reducing the risk of accidental third party exposure.
From January 2021, The E-HCert App will be used by both the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus and Aretaeio Hospital for all laboratory tests, from COVID-19 to routine blood work, predictably serving over 100,000 people a year. Together with I-Dante, VeChain will be a leading force in the transformation of the European healthcare sector, seizing the opportunity to drive increased digitization in hospitals.