A community of doctors built by the medical blockchain big data project, MediChain, and invited to its twice weekly live panel discussions, has taken on a life of its own and become a poignant demonstration of the need for the very services that MediChain is developing.

Panel discussions so far have been led by UK doctor, Dr Saqib Mukhtar, and have focussed on different aspects of telemedicine, including ethics, helping patients and doctors in the developing world, revolutionising the UK NHS use of locums and crucial differences between other telemedicine offerings and the MediChain Hypatia system – which will not only allow patients to see their usual doctor by video call, but to share their medical records with any doctor they wish to consult, and for that doctor to update the patient’s records as part of the consultation. Future topics of discussion will include medical big data, artificial intelligence and rare diseases.

Between these scheduled sessions, invited doctors from around the world have taken it upon themselves to consult each other via the group – describing their patients’ symptoms, posting photos of their conditions, and asking for advice on how best to treat them.

It is at times a painful demonstration of the need not only for the Hypatia system that has been touched on in the panel discussions, but also for the Athena Appliance, MediChain’s big data and AI driven system for hospitals: a man is seen lying in bed, monitors attached, discoloured from face to upper body, while his doctor seeks advice on how to help him; in another case a doctor describes what others advise are symptoms of a preventable miscarriage.

If the MediChain Athena Appliance was in place, this advice would often be available to the doctor right away. Athena both feeds into and works from medical big data. It takes known best practice, the individual patient’s records and the doctor’s observations, to assist doctors in treating patients quickly and effectively.

If a doctor is still in doubt, the Hypatia app will allow them to contact a verified specialist, show that specialist the patient’s records, including the doctor’s recent observations, and link the specialist to the patient by video. In this way the specialist can see and talk with the patient and have the local doctor perform any physical examination required. Altogether a far safer and more effective way for patients to receive the help they need.

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