Ant Financial and Fudan University’s Huashan Hospital announced the launch of the first blockchain e-prescription system in China on 13 September.
Zhang Qi (张琪), vice-head of the Information Department of Huashan Hospital, said that trials of the blockchain e-prescriptions are currently being conducted at the hospital’s endocrinology department, with plans to implement the system throughout the hospital should trials prove successful.
Online medical services provider Linking Cloud (联空网络) and online food delivery service Ele.me are also participating in the blockchain e-prescription trial.
According to domestic reports the system enables patients to receive online consultations from doctors and obtain prescriptions remotely simply by clicking the Huashan Hospital account on Ant Financial’s Alipay payments platform.
Pharmaceuticals are then delivered directly to the homes of patients themselves.
“This is the first trial of blockchain e-prescriptions by Huashan hospital, with the hope of guiding patients who make repeat consultations to visit doctors online, in order to raise consultation efficiency, as well as ensure the circulation and security of prescriptions,” said Zhang Qi.
Developers hope that the system will make hospital prescriptions more accurate and error-free as well as prevent tampering, helping to resolve problems such as patients using prescriptions to obtain more drugs from outside the hospital.
A tamper-proof “stamp” will be made once prescriptions are issued online, as well as when drugs are allocated, delivered and received, which will permit reciprocal confirmation and tracking throughout the entire process.
The system can also be used to confirm that prescriptions are used on only a single occasion, as once “stamped” they cannot be used to obtain more pharmaceuticals.
Ant Financial has emerged as a major provider of blockchain-related services in China, applying the technology to range of areas including cross-border payments, residential lease tracking, e-bill tracking and supply chain financing.