NQF Receives ONC Blockchain Challenge Award 

AUG 30, 2016

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF Receives ONC Blockchain Challenge Award

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) has received a Blockchain Challenge award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The Blockchain Challenge was announced in July 2016 to solicit whitepapers on how the use of this decentralized, time-stamped and secure technology could facilitate data exchange, foster patient-centered outcome research, and drive precision medicine. NQF’s whitepaper, “The Use of a Blockchain to Foster the Development of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures,” (PDF) is one of 15 selected from more than 70 submissions.

“In many ways, the whitepaper suggests the next generation of quality measure development and use. By using data from smart phones, activity trackers, and other readily available Internet technologies, the paper explores how patients and providers can exchange and use information in a protected way,” said Jason Goldwater, senior director at NQF and the author of the whitepaper. “The paper also explores how this data can be used to develop measures of healthcare quality using patient-reported outcomes, which focus on issues that matter most to patients.”

According to the white paper, an approach to developing and using patient reported outcome (PRO) measures using blockchain technology could be especially promising for children and adolescents with mental health conditions who are living in rural or underserved areas. The use of mobile devices and sensor technologies used in telehealth has helped children and adolescents living in these areas effectively manage mental health conditions, and data gathered for PRO measures from the data streams generated from these technologies provide a foundation to help providers make accurate diagnoses of mental health conditions and patients assess the effectiveness of specific therapies.

Goldwater will present the whitepaper concepts at the joint ONC-NIST Blockchain Conference in September.