Aetna – a United States-based health insurance giant has partnered with IBM to create a new healthcare blockchain network for the industry, as reported by Cointelegraph reported.
Blockchain is the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum is being increasingly accepted globally across several industries. Financial services firms too note the bitcoin loophole for the distributed ledger technology has the potential to generate wide-ranging savings.
The blockchain system is estimated to serve 39+ million customers worldwide, Aetna and IBM issued a joint statement clarifying that the cryptocurrency will be designed to streamline the insurance claims processing and payments, and also manage the directories. The insurance giant recently merged with a retail pharmacy and healthcare firm CVS Health Corp.
Alongside the American financial services firm PNC Bank, two other health insurers with over 55 million clients counts combined — have also reportedly joined the project: not-for-profit Health Care Service Corp., the 4th largest American health insurer, with over 15 million clients, and Anthem Inc., which provides coverage for 40+ million people in the U.S.
Chris Ward, an executive at PNC Bank’s treasury management unit, told Cointelegrah that implementing a blockchain solution can “remove [the] friction, duplication, and administrative costs that continue to plague the healthcare industry.”
Other customers from the technology and healthcare industries are also expected to join the initiative by April 2019 in the coming month, according to the statement released.
Aetna also among the group of the biggest U.S. companies in the healthcare sector, which formed an alliance in 2018 to test the blockchain solutions for improving data security, integrity, and cost efficiency. The project also includes Ascensio, the leading American healthcare non-profit.
Blockchain technology continues to gain global popularity and acceptance in the healthcare sector, as several insurers, hospitals and industry professionals continue to explore the benefits for sharing, securing and streamlining sensitive clinical and other health-related information.