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Walmart Gets Patent For Method To Access Medical Record On Blockchain

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Retail giant Walmart has been awarded a patent for the method of using blockchain technology for obtaining the vital medical records of a patient in emergency that is unable to communicate or is unresponsive.

The patent application, originally filed on December 14, 2016, has been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The patent refers to a method of "Obtaining a medical record stored on a blockchain from a wearable device" of a patient in emergency that is unable to communicate. The accessible record will contain only vital, emergency-specific information of the patient.

It includes receiving an encrypted private key and a public key associated with the patient stored on a wearable device of the patient, in response to a scanning of the wearable device of the patient using a RFID scanner during an emergency.

The encrypted private key is decrypted by a biometric signature of the patient, by obtaining the biometric signature of the patient by scanning face, retina, iris, fingerprint, etc.

This enables the first responder to gain access to the medical records of the patient, using a combination of the public key and the private key associated with the patient, to access a local storage medium of the wearable device.

According to the patent description, the medical record/information of the patient, once obtained may cascade to other medical care entities, such as a surgeon, an emergency room, a hospital, an ambulance, and the like.

This will the medical care personnel access records prior to the patient arriving, saving time by not having to access the patient's wearable device.

The retailer has previously gained patents to use the blockchain technology to ensure accurate delivery of its "smart packages" as well as a delivery management system that improves the delivery process using robotics, sensors and blockchains or distributed ledgers. It also obtained patents for their vendor payment sharing system and courier shopping system.

Last year, Walmart was among ten of the largest food producers and retailers, including Nestlé, Tyson Foods, and Unilever, who announced collaboration with IBM Blockchain to help track food supply chains and improve food safety.

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