In working with MediBloc, MGH is said to be interested in the ledger technology’s suitability for storage and exchange of patient data, supplementing its EHR.

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Harvard Medical School’s Lab of Medical Imaging and Computation, part of Massachusetts General Hospital, has embarked on an exploratory blockchain pilot with MediBloc, a Korean startup, cryptocurrency website Coindesk reports.

Mass General will work with MediBloc – which says its mission is to leverage blockchain networks for returning “healthcare information from medical institutions to the patients and developing an ecosystem where healthcare information is distributed safely” – to help explore new storage and exchange mechanisms that complement its existing electronic health record.

The aim is to co-develop new methods for security and interoperability, with a focus on patient engagement, an MGH researcher told CoinDesk. The three-year pilot, which will use simulated patient data, will also reportedly explore applications of artificial intelligence for imaging, analytics and other information management goals.

MediBloc touts its partnerships with eight other medical institutions, including Bundang Seoul National University and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital in South Korea.Webinar: IEEE: Bringing Together Blockchain, Healthcare and Emerging Technology

Mass General is just the latest world-class American health system to announce new collaborations with a blockchain startup. Earlier this year, for instance, Mayo Clinic said it was partnering with London-based Medicalchain to work on blockchain-based EHR projects and other unspecified distributed ledger initiatives.Earlier this week, as part of our new Focus on Blockchain, we offered some perspective on how CIOs and other hospital decision makers should approach new pilots and proofs-of-concepts of the technology.

“In collaboration with Medibloc, we aim to explore potentials of blockchain technology to provide secure solutions for health information exchange, integrate healthcare AI applications into the day-to-day clinical workflow, and support [a] data sharing and labeling platform for machine learning model development,” Synho Do, director of MGH’s Laboratory of Medical Imaging and Computation, told Coindesk.

The collaboration “is an excellent opportunity for us to prove the feasibility of our platform, as well as expand the scope of the platform using LMIC lab’s AI platform,” added Dr. Eunsol Lee, co-CEO of MediBloc, said in a press statement.