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Change Healthcare Becomes First HIT Org to Join Blockchain Collaborative at Top Level

May 22, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology, has announced that Change Healthcare has become the first healthcare organization to join at the initiative’s top membership level.

Hyperledger’s goal is to create common distributed ledger technology that enables organizations to build and run robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions. Since the beginning of 2016, Hyperledger, a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, has grown to more than 140 members that span various industries including finance, healthcare, the Internet of Things and Aeronautics, among several others.

In March, Nashville-based Change Healthcare and San Francisco-based McKesson announced the closing of their transaction to form a new healthcare technology company. The new company, Change Healthcare, combines substantially all of CHC’s business and the majority of McKesson Technology Solutions (MTS), though the deal did not include McKesson’s Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) business, a division that provides core hospital information systems such as Paragon.

Blockchain, which is emerging more and more as a possible solution that could solve some of healthcare’s core problems such as interoperability and data security, was named a Top Tech Trend by Healthcare Informatics earlier this year.

As such, Hyperledger is committed to helping the healthcare industry realize the full potential of open source blockchain technologies and as such kicked off a Healthcare Working Group last October that has grown to more than 425 technologists and executives. To this end, an all-day blockchain event at the HIMSS17 conference in Orlando included industry experts who dove into the opportunities and challenges that come with deploying blockchain in healthcare. This was the first year HIMSS devoted so much time to this topic, further showing how serious folks in health IT are about it.

“Blockchain is a promising and exciting new technology for secure online transactions," Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare, said in a statement. "But it's crucial that healthcare leaders step up to champion innovation to help take blockchain from its early implementations to tomorrow's healthcare IT solutions. I look forward to collaborating with Hyperledger members to help develop an open, distributed ledger technology that makes secure and safe financial interoperability work better in healthcare and beyond."

As a Premier member, Change Healthcare, CTO Aaron Symanski will join the Hyperledger governing board.

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