Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), a leading retail company in the U.S has received a patent for development of a system that will be used to store medical records on a blockchain. The medical records will be collected using a wearable device.
Patients who can’t talk
According to a patent filing that was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the system will enable doctors and medical professionals to collect medical information from patients who unable to communicate. These records are then stored on a blockchain and can be retrieved using a device worn by the patient. First responders are able to access this device using an RFID scanner.
Purpose of a wearable device
The system essentially depends on a wearable device to store the actual data from the patient. The data stored is then identified and collected using a biometric scanner and a RFID scanner. The system is made up of two keys- the public and private one. The private key is decrypted through scan of a major biometric feature of the patient for example the fingerprint.
The company has come out to clarify that this is not a shift into the medical field but the technology will offer valuable services to many patients that may find themselves in dangerous situations.
The retail giant has also specified that the system will not provide the patient’s entire medical record but rather a specific and emergency file that has the necessary information like allergies, blood type or any preexisting condition. According to a report by CCN, the system will only brief first responders of the patient’s important medical record and information before the patient arrives at the hospital.
Acquisition of health insurer Humana
To further advance this technology, the company is said to be having talks on the possible acquisition of health insurer Humana. The two companies already have an extensive working relationship. If Walmart succeeds in developing the blockchain-based electronic medical records system, this partnership will be very important and will be used as a data depository.