Building a Blockchain Network

Credit Suisse, an international financial organization, as part of their “Healthcare Disruptive Technologies & Innovations” series, hosted Embleema, Co-Founder & CEO, Robert Chu at a small group investor dinner in New York City.

The company is creating a decentralized healthcare data economy by connecting key stakeholders in the healthcare industry directly with patients while maintaining patient data sovereignty.

Embleema is building a patient-driven healthcare blockchain network for secure sharing of personal health records to produce faster and more precise clinical insights. Robert Chu sees using blockchain technology to maintain regulatory grade data, perform better claims management, improve shared provider directories etc., plus available for drug tracking purposes.

Embleema believes that blockchain technology provides the company three key advantages. First, blockchain technology is tamper proof. The company’s distributed legers allow healthcare data to be managed securely without a central authority but instead, by a group of users.

Secondly, the company uses blockchain to provide a source of data and also ensure certification, and finally, the company uses tokens to reward individuals which enables patients to upload records and doctors can create the data. Blockchain makes the data supply chain tamper proof. And enables the company to incentivize patients and enables the data to be regulatory grade.

To protect sensitive health data, only selected healthcare stakeholders are allowed to form nodes within this private decentralized network including patients, advocacy groups, life sciences companies, payers, authorities, and care centers. The company uses tokens to reward individuals such as patients to upload records, and doctors to create the data etc.

According to the CEO, “There are two types of blockchain networks consisting of both public blockchain and permission blockchain. The company uses permission blockchain meaning that it authorizes individuals, companies, and networks to access the blockchain. Individuals can choose whether or not to be a miner and Embleema can either accept or reject that individual’s right to mine on its blockchain. Patients are typically are not miners but a pharma company could be a miner.

Embleema’s sources of data include EMRs which are accessed through Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), Rx data through pharmacies, from patient’s genomics, or from research centers such as George Washington University, patient reported outcomes, and from connected devices, etc. The company is not yet using insurance data since Embleema notes that insurance claims are usually less valuable for research as they don’t generally contain clinical biomarkers.

Mr. Chu reports, “One of the company’s use cases for pharma is to find patients for clinical trials, which can take 6 to 12 months. One of the company’s goals is to shorten the release of new drugs by leveraging real-world data. One of the biggest problems in the drug approval process system is the expense.”

Expense is not an issue for common diseases such as diabetes because pricing is sustained, however, expense is an issue for rare diseases. Real world data has a huge value for pharmaceutical companies in specialty diseases.

The company collects regulatory grade data with a patient-centric records interfacing with care centers, pharma, and regulators. The company integrates patient records across multiple providers to assemble a patient’s full medical history. The company connects cohorts in real time with devices and mobile Electronic Patient Reported Outcome tools built along FDA’s Real World Experience framework.

Embleema has 250 patients active in the system and 50,000 patient records. The company currently has three of the top ten pharma companies and two mid-size customers. The future looks good for Embleema because in ten years, the company believes it could have roughly one million patients.

For more information, or to provide feedback, email Jailendra Singh at or call (212) 325 8121.

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