Ant Financial, the payment arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has joined hands with Fudan University-affiliated Huashan Hospital to trial the first blockchain-based electronic medical prescription service in China, Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.
Huashan Hospital is one of the best and biggest public hospitals in Shanghai. Patients can see the doctor online via the Huashan Hospital mini program in the Alipay app, the popular Chinese online payment platform backed by Alibaba.
The medical prescription platform will house a patient’s electronic health record on the blockchain developed by Ant Financial and every link of the prescription process – from prescribing drugs online, dispensing medicines online to delivering the medication to the patient’s hands – will be given a timestamp which is immutable and traceable. The blockchain solution is able to ensure the uniqueness of prescription drugs, thus solving the problem of repeat prescriptions.
As of now, the blockchain-powered prescription service is only available at the hospital’s department of endocrinology. If successful, it will be adopted hospital-wide, according to Zhangqi, the deputy director of the IT Information office of the hospital.
Besides, Shanghai-based medical service provider providers Linking Cloud and Ele.me, the food delivery business owned by Alibaba also participate in the pilot program.
“The blockchain-based electronic prescription services is expected to encourage the returning patients to see the doctor online so that we will improve the efficiency of medical treatment and prevent the abusive use of prescription drugs.” Zhang said.
This move comes roughly a month after Ant Financial issued 600,000 blockchain e-bills to patients in China’s eastern Zhejiang province over a period of 2 weeks.
Steering clear of cryptocurrencies, Ant Financial is heavily investing in the blockchain. Its blockchain solutions expand across several sectors, including tracing and tracking of charity donations, insurance claims, goods, housing leases, cross-border payment, etc. Ant Financial’s parent company, the internet giant Alibaba, solely filed 43 blockchain patents in 2017, making it 10% of the world’s total number.
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