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Maharashtra works on Blockchain to store health records


The Department of Health is working with a few startups and doing a PoC to work on how Blockchain can provide a secure platform to store health records

The Maharashtra Government has partnered with multiple startups to use Blockchain in the area of healthcare. Currently, a PoC with Blockchain for the department of healthcare is being worked out. Startups are working in conjunction with them. “We have begun the PoC just over a month ago,” informs S V R Srinivas, Secretary – IT, Maharashtra. The application area is to store health records on Blockchain. The security and immutability provided by the technology is robust. Blockchain scores over probable usage of other technologies by its characteristics of disintermediation and security. It eliminates the need of middlemen.

“To apply Blockchain, the government wants to work on use cases such as identities, movement of assets, transactions or otherwise, wherever data has to be distributed,” says S V R Srinivas.

The approach of the government is to work at all fronts in improving the healthcare of the citizens. The BharatNet project (MahaNet), which will provide high speed connectivity, is under implementation. It will provide the necessary telecom backbone to the state to deliver the necessary healthcare services. IT application programmes like e-Health, HMIS and data cleansing programmes are also at various stages of coming to fruition.

The Health Management Information System (HIMS) implementation is underway. The data will be collected and pooled from various hospitals. Analytics will be run over it to pick trends based on multiple parameters like geography, hospitals, diseases, etc to carry out health related interventions.

The e-Health project is under advanced discussion with the health department. It will digitise the medical health records, limiting any need for patients to carry their data while going to the doctors. “I have discussed about this with the secretary of medical and health education,” says S V R Srinivas.

The BharatNet project, which is known as MahaNet in Maharashtra is also getting rolled out. “Once the roll-out is complete, it will help in healthcare service delivery because the of OFC, by connecting all the Primary Health Centres (PHCs), government hospitals. It will be revolutionary for telemedicine, health data management, and health referral from village to rural; rural to district and district to state hospital,” says S V R Srinivas. Currently, there are many limitations in e-Health delivery because of the lack of a strong telecom backbone. Approximately, it will take about an year for the MahaNet to complete.

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