Klinik Sankt Moritz is a private clinic based in Switzerland that has decided to use the blockchain to certify the qualifications of doctors working there.
For this occasion we interviewed the CEO Sergio D’Arpa and the CEO of Innovando GmbH, Andreas Arno Michael Voigt.
Why choose the luxury market?
S.A.: Klinik Sankt Moritz provides high-end medical services of the latest generation, which are based on structured activities, managed through constantly evolving technologies and therefore aimed at a niche audience, especially considering their cost. A person who has access to the luxury market today, in the event of a heart attack, can certainly afford a single room in a private clinic.
But the truth is that in 2020, given the available technologies, a person with certain responsibilities over assets or towards employees should never have a heart attack.
We have combined different technologies and knowledge to develop predictive capabilities, based on the extreme personalisation of medicine. For instance, we have an Aerospace Division, specifically developed for monitoring the physiological data of executive jet pilots.
The whitepaper says you don’t have competitors. So what do you think of Medicalchain?
Medicalchain is a solution for exchanging medical data, while ours is a solution for exchanging doctors. Our patients’ health data is secured and not shared with anyone. We only provide answers for statistical studies and the development of new research.
For example, the average weight variation in men after the age of 50. Or, in case of an emergency, we provide patient data to first responders through our own doctor.
Klinik Sankt Moritz is a licensed clinic in Switzerland, our task is to treat the patient. Our personal mission is to assist the patient 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the world.
We use blockchain technology to certify the qualifications of doctors anywhere in the world: there is now, in each country, a procedure for exchanging information with the Medical Association, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of the State from which the doctor originates.
What will change thanks to us? The documentation required by Klinik Sankt Moritz for the certification of the doctor’s qualifications, once received and verified, constitutes 90% of the information required by any host country to carry out identification.
In addition, some countries also require a trial period on the territory and/or additional language examinations and so forth. However, in such a fast world, we are already ahead of the game: we are dealing with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, to apply for an authorisation to carry out the profession automatically, valid throughout the world for 30 non-consecutive annual days, for our accredited doctors, thanks to the introduction into our blockchain of the basic documents required by all the Ministries of Health of the world for the relative identification.
Currently, doctors who move around the world following public figures, sporting events and international events are technically outlawed. For instance, it is known that the President of the United States of America travels with bags of plasma.
It is conceivable that this security system will also be adopted by the other Heads of State participating in the G20. We are sure that the Japanese or Canadian doctor, alongside the respective Prime Minister, did not ask for authorisation to practise the medical profession in Switzerland during the Economic Forum in Davos.
The problem is similar for Formula 1, tennis Grand Slam, MotoGP, golf and cycling. Klinik Sankt Moritz has taken on the task of resolving an irrational and long-lasting problem.
So we should expect all clinics to be equipped with blockchains in the near future?
Only those with a strong international vision. By April 2020, we estimate to have more than 3,000 doctors accredited. But our mission is not to be a certification body, but to follow patients all over the world. For the so-called secondary opinion we use the videoconferencing tool and it is necessary to be able to guarantee, for example, to the Chinese patient that the doctor of Qatar is actually a doctor.
With 3,000 specialists, we will perhaps be the largest clinic in the world in terms of the number of associated doctors. Using advanced technologies, such as blockchain, we are probably already one of the most advanced hospitals in the world.
Will you use the blockchain for other activities besides the certification of degrees?
Yes, we are already including the specialisation, which is more complex to certify compared to the degree. The specialisations are different all over the world. In addition, thanks to technological research and the strong trend towards increasingly widespread specialisation, doctors could change their specialisation focus throughout their professional lives. Like the psychiatrist – who is first of all a doctor and then a psychiatrist – and could theoretically become, later on, an aesthetic physician.
This is a simple example, since these are two recognisable, well-known specialisations. The gastroenterologist surgeon, who becomes an expert in transanal microsurgery to avoid scars on the stomach, does not have a recognised specialisation. The neurologist who is an expert only in the vestibule does not have a recognised specialisation in that particular component of the inner ear. So, through our scientific committee, we assign a ‘super skill’ to the doctor and certify it together with his/her curriculum studiorum. The next step will be the certification of the participation to the conferences, for a transparent and updated training. At present, our accredited doctors are particularly brilliant professionals, being exploratory doctors who, by their very nature, are always looking for new solutions. We are preparing for them the certification of the courses they attend as learners. For the awards they win, but above all for their participation in conferences as speakers or teachers. This is all work that needs to be done just to make their skills transparent and more tangible in today’s digital world.
How is the blockchain integrated into the system?
A.M.V: I will start with the following: we used an open source CMS platform, specifically WordPress. This allows to manage the startup in a simple way, without overburdening ourselves with costs. The processes of implementing a blockchain, in a stable system, are almost identical.
Basically, the platform generates a public profile for each doctor involved, also called a doctor’s Personal Card.
This has been done to focus not only on the certification aspect of the content of each individual profile, but also on its visibility on the Web, boosting the SEO part and taking advantage of the ease with which WordPress allows the SERP presence in search engines of the various contents, especially if well presented and organised.
We have therefore worked on two parallel aspects: the security of the content, i.e. the data itself, and its online visibility. This is also important for a good understanding of the general aspect of the project.
Guaranteeing the doctor’s visibility is one thing, ensuring users the truthfulness of the content through the implementation of a blockchain, is another. So, before issuing the authentication and validation of a personal card of the medical doctor, there is a rather important step of data verification by an operator. After that, once it is established that their information is correct, it is validated on the blockchain.
Is the http://medauth.doctor/ blockchain a public or private one?
The blockchain is public. It has been implemented in WordPress by associating each professional profile to a single block of the blockchain, through the JSON API.
Each personal card is validated at two levels: at the entry level and at the blockchain level. The latter only covers those profiles that have reached public and final status, not those awaiting verification. In this way, only certified professionals become part of the blockchain.
We would like to point out that the choice of the public blockchain comes from the need to manage data that cannot be manipulated for purposes outside the law (especially in the medical field), not to mention the need to prevent and limit ethically and morally questionable behaviours.
What kind of blockchain is used in your project?
To answer this question correctly we can describe in detail the process of a secondary verification. The secondary verification is, as mentioned above, public and involves the blockchain. Each block, in addition to the normal control hashes, also features the common NONCE (Number Only Used Once, ed), calculated during the mining process, as is generally recommended.
We must remember, as explained at the beginning, that in this case we are operating in a PHP environment: WordPress is PHP based. PHP is able to manage the hashing function SHA-256, but in the future we are thinking about the implementation of something similar to a cryptocurrency wallet, so RSA encryption can also be used, which is currently problematic with PHP, as it does not manage the generation of Key Pairs. To do this, we have already opted to switch to node.js technology, which possesses this type of support and will be featured in version 2.0 of the Klinik Sankt Moritz/medauth.doctor project.
But we are certainly not stopping here. With the experience gained in the field, we are assimilating all the technical knowledge necessary to take advantage of the new cryptographic features of the browser to be able to replicate, from the Web-App point of view, all the features currently present on the server side.