Walmart – popularly recognized as every shopoholic’s one stop shop – has recently started to explore Blockchain technology. They have found yet another creative use of blockchain technology, proving that this technology can solve many existing problems.
Walmart’s inventive use for blockchain technology has created a safety blanket for patients suffering from unforeseen attacks. Cryptovest detailed that “they [Walmart] recently received three patents from the US Patent and Trademark office” for their inventive use of blockchain technology. Walmart has managed to create a digital system that can store and pass out valuable information when a patient is in distress or unable to guide paramedics. At the same time Walmart maintained an individual’s right to privacy by storing only emergency-related information on blockchain.
An article on CCN explained that they have named their patent technology as “Obtaining a Medical Record Stored on a Blockchain from a Wearable Device”. In order for the system to properly operate, it consists of a three-fold device system. Firstly, a wearable device – perhaps, similar to a bracelet – that can store the necessary medical information needed for a critical medical emergency. Secondly, a biometric scanner needed to note patient’s biometric details, including a signature and; lastly, a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which serves the sole purpose of reading the worn device.
The system functions are detailed next. It starts with scanning the wearable medical accessory using the RFID scanner to identify vital information about the patient. Then, a safe and encrypted public and private key is generated: also patient specific. Finally, to decrypt the private key a biometric scanner must be used – by scanning a biometric feature of the patient for example, iris or fingerprint. Furthermore, if needed this medical information can also be dispatched to other entities involved in the process of healthcare including insurance companies, hospitals etc. This systematic and simple transmission of information is loosely based on the “Internet of Things (IoT)” concept.
This swift and cost-effective transfer of medical information in such a safe and secure manner will surely revolutionize the way medical treatment and emergencies are handled. Deploying this technology we can definitely hope to see lesser casualties or unwanted outcomes from medical emergencies. Perhaps, this system and technology could also play a role in reducing the death rate, and increasing the quality of life for older individuals.
This innovative and effective use of blockchain technology will surely appease cryptocurrency and blockchain technology supporters. Clearly, this is a great use-case of blockchain technology to improve quality of life. However, this is not Walmart’s first patent for its inventive use of blockchain technology. Recently, they were granted a patent for inventing a method of distributing electricity by using digital currencies as a payment channel.
And a third blockchain patent was granted to Walmart for creating a network that would allow people to “control or limit access to a real or virtual space” with the use of cryptographic keys. We will not be surprised if they are already working to incorporate blockchain technology to enhance online shopping experience: specifically the payment and shipping services.
It will be quite interesting to know what other innovations Walmart tech geniuses have in store for us. Under the guidance of Doug McMillon – serving as President and CEO – and with an annual revenue of $500.34 billion USD, Walmart is one of the largest retail players in the world.
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