Walmart recently received a patent for a system designed to store patient medical records in a blockchain database. The information can then be retrieved at the scene of an emergency when a patient is unable to communicate.
The Walmart patent involves three devices which allows the medical record to be stored and retrieved. The first is a wearable device which serves as the local storage medium for the blockchain database. There is a also a biometric scanner used to obtain a patient’s encrypted signature and a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) scanner that reads the wearable device.such as a bracelet.
Walmart’s patent application notes that at the scene of an accident first responders would scan the patient’s wearable device using the RFID scanner. Then they are able to get an encrypted private key as well as a public key associated with the patient they are attending. To decrypt the private key a biometric feature of the patent has to be scanned, this could be the face or a fingerprint. Once decrypted, the patient’s medical records can be accessed from the blockchain database.These medical records can also be shared with other healthcare providers such as paramedics, hospitals and emergency rooms.
Walmart said this patent theorizes the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices which will enable medical professional to easily transmit pertinent medical information from one party to another. Perks associated with this patient include time savings which in some emergencies is the difference between life and death.
Walmart filed the patent application in December 2016 and received the award June 14.