Medicalchain, the decentralised blockchain platform that enables secure, fast and transparent exchange of medical records by patients and doctors, has announced its first partnership with The Groves Medical Group in the UK.

The Groves will be the first medical practice in the UK to use blockchain technology and will offer all 30,000 of its registered patients and 1,000 private patient families the option of paying for services using a cryptocurrency. It hopes to broaden access to private healthcare across its four medical centres.

As the NHS does not store records centrally, patients can only access their full records in a single location if they collate the records themselves. The Medicalchain platform aims to tackle this inefficiency in the storage of healthcare records by enabling access from anywhere, preventing data loss, making records less vulnerable to cyber-attack and stopping the sharing of incorrect data.

Medicalchain aims to put every patient in control of their health records and be a partner in their own healthcare management. The pilot, which commences in July 2018, will enable Medicalchain to gather feedback from doctors and patients to refine its platform and continue development ahead of its global launch.

The Groves’ registered patients will be able to create a free wallet which will hold and manage access to their health records. GP video consultations will also be available to patients, offering the flexibility to see their doctor at a time and place suited to their needs. The platform will then give patients the option to pay for services using cryptocurrency, with users being incentivised to pay for telemedicine services with Medicalchain’s MedTokens, a cryptocurrency similar to bitcoin.

The Groves senior partner Dr Vince Grippaudo said: “This is a unique opportunity to work with the leaders in blockchain for healthcare and offer our patients cutting-edge technology. We believe that by empowering people to choose how they access healthcare, we can reduce the burden on public health services. The goal is to improve health services, not only in the UK but across the world, and with Medicalchain we believe we can be a part of that.”

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Details of the pilot project are currently being refined by both parties with further information due to be announced in the coming weeks.