GITEX 2020: NITDA, Tech Experts advocate Blockchain Technology for Healthcare

TECH DIGEST – Experts have advocated the adoption of blockchain technology for healthcare ecosystem in providing increased security, privacy, and interoperability of patients’ health data.

The experts who spoke at a Summit on Blockchain and the future of Healthcare at the ongoing 40th edition of Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2020)

The experts who spoke as panel included Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa; Director, Centre for Citizenship Enterprises and Governance, Professor Olinga Taeed; Managing Partner Health Group and Chief Health Privacy Security Officer BTBlock, Dr. Alice Loveys and Consulting Leader Government and Public Sector IBM, Saqr Ereiqat.

The DG NITDA who is the only African in the panel told delegates at the forum that Blockchain technology has improved health information exchanges by making electronic medical records more efficient, disintermediated, and secure. He added that it has the potential to reduce friction and costs of current intermediaries.

“Blockchain is a technology that can transform the healthcare by placing the patients in the centre of healthcare ecosystem by giving them easy access to their data anywhere anytime and securely… It can also eliminate fake drug as patients can be able to see the sources of the drug, where it goes before its reach the final health facilities… Patient don’t need to apply to heath facilities to have access to their medical records”

Kashifu also gave highlight on Nigeria’s effort to embrace and adopt the technology.

“In Nigeria we are working on developing the blockchain adoption strategies because we see blockchain not just as a business disruptor, which creates new products, services and new ways of doing things by displacing the existing market leaders… but as a foundation technology that can help in transforming a lot of sectors… Some of our start-ups attending GITEX have developed some blockchain applications that can be useful to humanity.

“While Africa as a continent lost out during the first, second and third revolution because of huge capital and investment requirement, the fourth industrial revolution is our best bet because it only requires talents, mobile connectivity and adequate skills….

“At NITDA we are encouraging our youthful populations to embrace the modern technologies for employment generation and self-reliant through training, mentorship, internship placements and start-up vouchers to help them provide working place and logistics before promoting the products in the market”

Also speaking on the technology, Olinga Taeed, a Professor in Blockchain said blockchain technology as a distributed system for recording and storing transaction, is faster, cheaper, secured and trusted for speculative transactions as the future of the fourth industrial revolution.

He added that in a blockchain system, there is no central authority as transaction records are stored and distributed across all network participants.

In her contributions, Dr. Alice Loveys said blockchain presents numerous opportunities but with several challenges on trustworthiness, transparency and accessibility that must be addressed before it is fully adopted by the healthcare system.

She said: “There are multiple parties in the ecosystem doing a lot of exchanges and on assets… We can then ask does the blockchain system benefits from increase trust, increase transparency? Are there complex business rules associated with the assets. It is certain that healthcare sector is more complex than that. The concern must be addressed.

PRNigeria reports that GITEX Technology Week is a leading technology shows, including GITEX Future Stars for biggest tech start-up event; cybersecurity conference and exhibition; Future Blockchain Summit and Marketing Mania.

NITDA sponsors startups drawn across the country to participate in the Global Future Stars (GFS), a major highlight of GITEX 2020 offering a strategic window for the country’s startup community to leverage world-class exposure, angel investors and mentors.

By PRNigeria