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MSD and KKU to Develop Digital Medical Certificate in Thailand

Khon Kaen University signed an MOU with the Department of Medical Services, for the development of digital medical certificate issuance. The President of Khon Kaen University represented Khon Kaen University, while the Director-General of the Department of Medical Services represented the Department of Medical Services in the online MOU signing over ZOOM.

The Director-General of the Department of Medical Services explained the collaboration noting that the Department trusts Khon Kaen University for the digital and medical expertise. The Department believes that the issuance of digital medical certificates should be developed first at medical schools.

The Faculty of Medicine of Khon Kaen University is the first place to help develop this system that is expected to upgrade Thai people’s quality of life during this critical period. It is hoped that the Department and KKU will go on cooperating in other matters in the future.

The President of Khon Kaen University added that the Department of Medical Services and Khon Kaen University see the importance of developing electronic medical certificates, which will replace hard-copy issuance. One purpose of the technology is to prevent fraud. Moreover, it ensures that the document is valid at an international level.

This MOU is aimed at developing the prototype of the issuance of electronic medical certificates as per the HL7 FHIR standard, which is based on blockchain technology. The MOU signing is just the start of both parties disseminating and sharing knowledge related to digital medical certificates over a broader circle.

Khon Kaen University has a background in this type of certificate issuance. The University is currently in the process of developing electronic medical certificate issuance based on Blockchain and Decentralized Identifiers. The standard used is the international HL7 FHIR.

Development of the system has been planned to consist of three parts: issuing a certificate of vaccination, issuing a certificate of Covid-19 recovery, and issuing a certificate of laboratory examination. Now, the designs and prototypes are close to completion and are expected to be experimented on soon. Next, the details will be transferred to the Department of Medical Services for further use in the country.

Blockchain is a trend that stands to vastly improve the healthcare industry. Digital ledgers can enable healthcare providers to distribute transaction records to patients securely and will greatly improve data security. Blockchain’s peer-to-peer system allows large numbers of users to securely have access to a common ledger.

Thanks to blockchain, there is no need for a basis of trust between two parties. As healthcare technology continues to improve, portability, security, and accessibility are all desired objectives that blockchain can help complete alongside other trends like IoMT and cloud computing.

One of the greatest benefits of blockchain in healthcare technology is interoperability. Through public-private key methods, there is greater integrity in the use of healthcare information. An example of this would be that a specialist providing a consultation can be granted access to information quickly through a secure system that all parties are using. The flexibility of anonymity can be controlled so that patients can opt into providing data for research purposes. Ultimately, this would comply with HIPAA and GDPR regulations.

Integrity, security, accessibility, and portability of data are all features in high demand during the COVID-19 public health crisis in 2020. Blockchain is a critical technology that can help provide these features to help healthcare providers communicate with COVID-19 patients efficiently and remotely.

Blockchain improves transparency and integrity through full visibility through the digital ledger. If there are concerns about counterfeiting or the supply chain, all transactions are logged through the blockchain system. Since this is so easily consolidated, this also saves costs that would have gone into tracking these transactions manually.

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