Rich Concept — Poor Infrastructure
One step in the right direction, is still infinitely better than a hundred in the wrong direction.
Innovation is key to progress, there’s so much truth in these words, and we’ve seen more progress in almost every aspect of humanities technologies and systems in the last fifty years than we have in the millions before that.
Innovations are becoming an occurrence that Individuals, Corporations and even Governments indulge in seeking out on a near week to week basis these days, most often due to the deadlines and expectations placed on them. A habit in which we will find ourselves creating a series of breeding grounds of errors, faults and systematic vulnerabilities.
In Australia the MyHealthRecords are one such project which stands a monumental example of a concept rich in need of a complete foundational restructure.
The MyHealthRecords were designed with the best intentions in mind; A proposed medical database with a military level cybersecurity. However it unfortunately relies on every worker and practitioner in the medical industry with access to the MyHealthRecords to remain an honest, integral, privacy-respecting individual which is (due to the unfortunate nature of humans) a clear fault in the system. Any doctor, nurse or many other medical workers would have direct access to anyone’s medical records, with no feature yet announced to keep track of each unique access.
The idea is rich, it eliminates the wasted time spent on a new doctor requesting records from your usual family GP, it can save lives in emergency situations cutting down the time needed to go find out a patients blood type for their needed transfusion.
But the infrastructure is poor;
Most people have heard of Bitcoin, a smaller portion have heard the term cryptocurrency, and an even smaller handful of people in the world have heard the term “Blockchain.”
The distributed ledger technology that is beginning its road to fame for its first practical use of sending and recording the transactions of digital funds, has an array of uses and benefits compared to the traditional database model.
Should the MyHealthRecords be built on blockchain technology, rather than having a single level access to all users data, instead each patients record would be encrypted with a single key and could only be accessed by the Medical Professional that is given this key by the patient.
You could also double up on the benefits of this, by “making it compulsory to have both a registered doctors and patients Private Key in order to edit the medical file of the respective patient and sign the data” Says Jaden, Back end developer, from Data Revolution Technologies.
Although progress is vital, it is equally important to make sure the right steps are taken in the foundations we build for the systems of tomorrow.
You can read more of Jerome’s work here.