Jefferson University Offering a Blockchain for Healthcare Course

Jefferson University has recently announced that they will be offering the country’s first graduate-level certification course for blockchain in healthcare. Beginning this September, the course will educate students on the ethics, privacy, and transparency in healthcare and the associated benefits of using blockchain in both clinical trials and management of patient records.

What should students expect from the course

The course will be comprised of the following three-credit classes:

  • Introduction to Blockchain for Health Care
  • Blockchain: Real World Case Uses
  • The New Trust Network: A Technical Review
  • Blockchain Policy & Standards — for around 15 to 18 hours per week.

These courses will require 15-18 hours per week and will be instructed by Mike McCoy, Adjunct Professor of Emerging Technologies at Jefferson and Blockchain Implementation Manager at Accenture. Alongside McCoy in the endeavor is fellow Jefferson professor Joseph C. Guagliardo. Guagliardo is also a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he is the chair of the Blockchain Practice and co-leader of the Technology Group.

Why is Blockchain Important to the Future of Medicine

McCoy stated that blockchain allows health systems to make specific information anonymous, preventing this data from being compromised. He feels blockchain will revolutionize healthcare, being that companies currently tend to compete over ownership of data.

“Blockchain creates a single, end-to-end view of data and information like we have never seen before,” said McCoy. “Tons of companies like 23andMe, Ancestry and healthcare providers spend millions of dollars to obtain patient data to use and sell to companies for leverage without a customer fully knowing or having the ability to be paid for their data. Blockchain helps with the transparency of data as well as the ability for individuals to earn their data back to them.”

The Jefferson course will aim to help students identify problems and opportunities in the healthcare system, understand how blockchain works with medical systems and existing technologies, understand Distributed Ledger Technology and Consensus Mechanism, and communicate innovative ideas to those within and outside of healthcare systems. McCoy feels that this course puts the school at the forefront of digital health education by educating students on blockchain before graduating.

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“I imagine kids [from communities in need] being taught in blockchain technology to help create incentive programs for them to do the right thing and to be able to trust institutions that are created to help keep them healthy,” he said. “[This course] is a huge opportunity that we all need to come together for.”

After completing the program, students will be able to pursue careers as Business and Data Analysts Hospital Administrators, Technology Engineers, Informational Technology Managers, Physician Liaisons, and more according to Jefferson.

More on Blockchain Technology

Distributed ledgers, such as blockchain, are predicted to play a crucial role in both identity management and payments in the healthcare setting. Such systems not only reduce waste and unnecessary costs but can increase quality of care as well. Distributed ledgers offer a trusted set of data to healthcare providers that eliminates the need for verifying information from different sources. Currently, a patients’ medical records are fragmented across several providers and specialists. Physicians must often track down records to assemble the puzzle that is their patient’s medical history, a tedious process that may lead to exclusion of important information. The core concept behind blockchain technology is creating a decentralized, transparent, and immutable record of transactions. Its integration into the healthcare system is a hot topic due to its potential ability to produce a private and comprehensive collection of patient health records.

Click here to read more about Jefferson’s Blockchain for Health Care course.