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New theme Health & Care Dutch Blockchain Coalition Zorg lead by Nicky Hekster

The Dutch Blockchain Coalition (DBC) starts with the theme Health & Care and welcomes Nicky Hekster as lead of this theme.

Technologies such as Blockchain, AI, and Quantum Computing are rapidly maturing. This offers opportunities for innovations in the entire Health & Care ecosystem. The underlying COVID period has made made the importance clear of, for example, being able to exchange data and being able to trace and account for medical devices or medicines.

Nicky Hekster, lead theme Health & Care

Blockchain appeals to a number of core values of Health & Care, such as trust, privacy, safety, legal correctness, accountability, verifiability and irrefutability. This makes it potentially a technology that can support or further help healthcare and life sciences in the Netherlands (and beyond). This is not only a question of technology, but collaboration with partners in the ecosystem is also essential.

Nicky Hekster: "As the lead of the Health & Care theme, it is my honor and pleasure to bring together public and private parties around blockchain applications in this domain. The goal is to realize use cases that do not yet exist or to improve poorly functioning systems. For example, permission to exchange information, Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) in healthcare, logistics processes, recording information about clinical studies and Health Technology Assessments (HTAs). Not only are the perspectives of and cooperation between different parties essential, but the knowledge already gained from other theme groups will also be of great help. Interconnections with artificial intelligence will certainly be looked at. An important criterion is that a usage scenario must have national or even international impact."

The importance of the Health & Care theme is undeniable. The pressure on Dutch healthcare is enormous and the entire ecosystem feels it. Challenges with regard to funding, affordability, work pressure, staff shortages, fraud detection, healthy lifestyle, prevention and permission to exchange privacy-sensitive data are commonplace. In the light of the increasing digitization of our society and the speed at which technological progress is being made, Health & Care must not be left behind. Looking back, successful test balloons have been released in the Netherlands in maternity care and, for example, creating controlled environments with minimal risk of corona infection. Furthermore, various Field Labs are testing use cases based on blockchain.

In addition to shaping the working group and bringing together relevant parties, the aim is on the one hand to identify and further explore the most important opportunities for blockchain in the sector. On the other hand, if it proves to be feasible, a number of projects will have to be defined, which will actually be carried out at a later stage.

"The basis for the Health & Care working group has already been laid. The sector is complex and diverse, which offers challenges, but also opportunities. We are therefore pleased that Nicky Hekster has taken on the role of Health & Care theme lead. In view of the many challenges in healthcare, public-private collaboration in blockchain is the technological and organizational basis for a trusted environment to improve the quality of care, realize time savings and mitigate costs ", said Peter Verkoulen, coalition manager of the DBC.

Nicky Hekster has more than fifteen years of (inter)national experience in the Health & Care sector, in particular in business and technical roles in the field of AI in Healthcare & Life Sciences, blockchain and healthcare standards, at IBM and as supplier chairman of IHE The Netherlands. In addition to the Health & Care theme lead at the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Nicky Hekster is an executive professor at the TIAS Business School.