Bitcoinist sat down with HealthHeart CEO Mark Rudnitsky to discuss how his company is revolutionizing the way Electronic Health Records (EHR) are kept. Through storing EHR on the blockchain, with a development focus on health care providers themselves, HealthHeart aims to help make patient records both secure and flexible enough to meet the demands of the cutting edge developments being made in holistic healthcare.
Bitcoinist: What is your experience within the EHR industry?
MR: I worked for Epic Systems Corp directly after getting my Master’s degree from Georgetown. While there, I was a member of the Chronicles database team, which was responsible for maintaining the integrity of the patient records we stored. I also worked closely with the Resolute Hospital Billing team and participated in several go-lives and upgrades for our customers.
Bitcoinist: What made you decide to develop HealthHeart?
MR: I wasn’t – and still am not – happy with the lack of security built into most EHRs. Epic’s security team was excellent, but when dealing with millions of lines of 40+ year old code, there’s only so much they could do. So many security vulnerabilities and bugs existed in critical code that I was shocked Epic wasn’t regularly sued for their part in breaches and data theft. Security through obscurity isn’t good enough when patients’ lives are on the line. With the promise of blockchain tech, I finally decided to stop complaining about it and actually work to improve healthcare.
Bitcoinist: What are the biggest shortcomings with the current crop of traditional EHR offerings?
MR: Security, like I mentioned above, is horrible throughout the industry. The deluge of news regarding patient data breaches and ransomware attacks makes that obvious. Beyond that, EHRs tend to be bloated, providing too much functionality, to the point where something as simple as printing a document can take 10 clicks. I remember that before a customer site visit, the customer liaison always made a point of reminding us to always teach customers about new shortcuts or ways to navigate through the software. That always struck me as odd – if your software was actually intuitive and easy to use, why did I keep having to keep re-teaching experienced users the most basic of functionality?
Bitcoinist: How is HealthHeart different than traditional EHRs?
MR: Besides the security benefits of the blockchain, we’ve made sure to engage medical professionals in the design and building of our software from day one. They have the final say in what workflows are most useful, what we should focus on in our next dev cycle, even what color we use on a given screen. This software is by them, for them. Other companies have medical teams, but never before has an EHR been built from the ground up with such input from real providers. Finally, our software is cheaper to implement by a wide margin, making it affordable for all but the smallest clinics.
Bitcoinist: Is HealthHeart HIPAA-compliant?
MR: Of course! There are certain features we’re building that aren’t, such as interacting with patients on social media of their choosing, but we’re actively working on ways to either make that data HIPAA compliant or to avoid any disclosure of sensitive information.
Bitcoinist: How will HealthHeart benefit healthcare providers?
MR: By making software that puts the provider first, we actively encourage providers to integrate our EHR seamlessly into their daily work. We’re not developing a product and saying “Hey, you need to use this as-is”, like certain other companies. It’s designed around their specific workflows. What they need is exactly where they need it, when they need it. That’s something that’s never been done on such a massive scale, before us.
Bitcoinist: How will HealthHeart improve patient care?
MR: If providers help design our software, it’s intuitive for them to use. They know it like the back of their hand, which means less errant clicks and mistakes. Providers don’t have to spend as much time learning software as before, which means there’s more time to take care of patients. The patient record is intact and immutable, so that means patients will never have part of their record go missing, or have incomplete histories. Behaviors that could harm patients, such as drug-seeking behavior, doctor shopping, and failure to abide by medical advice, are all noted in the blockchain and visible to providers so that appropriate steps can be taken to help them.
Bitcoinist: You actively consult with an advisory board of healthcare providers – can you tell us more about that?
MR: We’ve been engaging with practicing medical professional since the beginning. They steer the design of our software, telling us what works, what doesn’t, what’s missing, and other invaluable feedback. We show them everything – mock-ups and demos, papers and documentation. Nothing is hidden from them since the HealthHeart EHR is for them. We can’t improve without their feedback, so we try to be as transparent as possible and implement as many changes as they recommend.
Bitcoinist: At a time when investors are looking for more than just a concept, will you be providing a working demo of the platform?
MR: We hope to have a full working alpha build in the first half of 2018. Of course, development schedules being what they are, we can’t give a more specific time than that. We’ll actively be posting updates on social media, and hope to have at least a video demo online shortly.
Bitcoinist: What future features/integrations are you planning for your platform?
MR: Right now, we’ve seen a lot of interest from podiatrists, so we expect to work closely with podiatrists we know to build custom-tailored modules for podiatry work. Due to some feedback from an orthodontist we know, we also hope to spend time developing integrated 3D modeling functionality into our software. We’re even working on a module for smart tattoos! There’s a lot of functionality we want to build, so just keep following our project and we’ll make it public as we do it!
Are you confident in your health provider’s record keeping? Would you be more confident if they were managed on the blockchain? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of HealthHeart, Shutterstock
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