Walmart has been awarded a patent for a specialized system that stores a patient's records on a blockchain system. The system also makes the records quickly retrievable in an emergency situation if the patient is unresponsive.
Walmart first filed for the patent on December 13, 2017 and it was awarded on June 14, 2018.
With the new system the patient wears a type of wearable device that can be placed on the wrist or neck that would serve as the blockchain storage device for the patient's medical records. The medical professional would then use an RFID scanner that sees the patients information on the device with the patient’s approval.
If a patient is unresponsive and obtaining those records is pertinent to their care, the device may be scanned by the medical professional through a biometric scan, which gives them access to both the public and private key. In order to decrypt the patient’s private key, a part of the patient's body must first be scanned such as the patient’s face, a retina in one of their eyes or a fingerprint. Once the private key is accessed, records can then be retrieved.
This recent patent for medical records storage is one of three awarded to Walmart that deals with blockchain technology. The second patent is a type of system that would connect a home’s electronic devices to power companies over a public blockchain. Walmart says the system could allow customers to prepay electricity to a certain amount allocated to a cryptocurrency.
Walmart’s third blockchain-based patent deals with a system that supposedly aids users by limiting the access to real or virtual space using a system of cryptographic keys stored on a blockchain.