EXCL Treasury committee MP says Bitcoin tech could save lives in NHS

Posted On: 
2nd January 2018

The technology behind crypto-currency Bitcoin could transform the NHS and save lives, a member of the influential Treasury Select Committee has said.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies have made a major impact on the financial world
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John Mann said Blockchain technology could give paramedics and A&E staff instant access to medical records updated in real time “without the risk of errors”.

In an exclusive article for PoliticsHome the Labour MP said the new-fangled data system offers “transformative potential” with “numerous applications which could make day-to-day operations easier”.

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Digital currency Bitcoin has shot up in value by thousands of dollars over the past year - fuelling a global debate about whether it could serve as a viable future tool or is simply a bubble waiting to burst.

The Blockchain technology that underpins it is a shared digital record list which automatically updates whenever anyone makes a transaction.

All of its data is not accessible to every user but there is less room for dispute as a copy is stored on every machine involved.

Mr Mann noted the concerns around Bitcoin itself but said “we need to recognise the transformative potential of the technology that underpins it”.

He wrote: “By enabling ambulance workers, paramedics, and A&E staff instant access to medical records updated in real-time, medical care could be carefully targeted to a person’s specific needs.

“The ability to upload results of scans, blood samples and test results and have them accessed by the next practitioner near-instantly, without the risk of error offers the chance to improve survival rates in emergency care and improve care standards across our health service.

“It is this kind of technology that could give our dedicated NHS staff an extra vital tool.”

The Bassetlaw MP added that the tech could also “speed up the stressful and lengthy process of purchasing a home and create transparency in the process”.

He concluded: “As politicians move to examine the future framework for Bitcoin regulation, I am urging them to put serious thought and consideration into the massive potential offered by the Blockchain technology behind it.”

Last month ministers vowed to launch a regulatory crackdown on Bitcoin amid fears it is being used to facilitate crime.