The wheels of government don’t turn very fast but they usually reach their destination eventually. That’s the case with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which recently issued a patent covering “Blockchain-based mechanisms for secure health information resource exchange.” The patent application was filed back in August 2017 by BBM Health LLC to animate the self-sovereign identity and fine-grained consent capabilities comprising its FHIR®Blocks℠ Web3 platform, but as it happens the timing of the issuance aligns nicely with some very recent news related to it, and Equideum Health’s mission to re-imagine healthcare in a Web3 world via “data liquidity.”
Last month, Equideum Health completed its acquisition of BBM Health, and hired its patent’s named inventors: Doug Bulleit as its new VP, Consumer Lines of Business and Tom Danner as its Sr. Technical Fellow. Another inventor – Charles Miller – has joined Equideum Health’s Board of Directors.
So what’s behind the acquisition? Pulling this note from the patent abstract provides the answer: “Authorized owners and/or patients with rights to their own [health information resources] may be able to grant fine-grained and conditional access permissions to third parties.” It is this innovation that led to the development of of FHIR®Blocks℠, an application that delivers on the patent’s promise.
FHIRBlocks – which is available on Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace – allows individuals to control the sharing of their personal health information, which is typically spread across several healthcare provider-managed EHR systems. It leverages FHIR® APIs and blockchain, including self-sovereign identity, and is built upon Equideum Health’s W3C verifiable credential formats. As such, FHIRBlocks provides the next-generation of Identity and Consent foundations upon which Equideum Health’s Elevated ComputeTM Platform (ECP) is built.
By implementing FHIRBlocks (either as a standalone application or as an element of Equideum’s ECP), individuals and various services and clinical research organizations engaging with healthcare systems can enjoy data liquidity. Remember that term. It is Equideum Health’s way of characterizing how an individual can free their health and health-relevant data from third party enterprise data silos and share it with full and granular control with providers, payers and other health participants in order to optimize services, and potentially for monetary reward. Basically, it is a practical way of aligning the worlds of health data and Web3. And that’s not a moment too soon.