AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers at Dell Medical School are researching technology linked to Bitcoin to help improve access to health care for the Austin area's homeless population, according to a report from KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman.
The report states that Dr. Tim Mercer, global health program director at the school's population health department, is working with his colleagues to use blockchain technology as a way for those experiencing homelessness to have their identities verified by their health care providers. That information would then be securely shared throughout the health and human services network.
Dr. Mercer told the Statesman that the lack of proper identification has been a big barrier in providing health care to locals experiencing homelessness. In fact, a study by the school found that one-third of that population entering the health and human services system did not have a basic identity document.
"It's a major issue. ... I wouldn't have realized it if I was not there on the front lines," Mercer told the Statesman.
According to the report, by using this technology, a patient's identity would already be verified each time they are checked in to a medical or service provider. They wouldn't have to repeatedly give their providers a photo ID, and each transaction between patient and provider would create a new block in the chain of information about that patient.
To read the Statesman's full report, click here.
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