In this 3-hour instructional workshop, we propose to deliver a tutorial about the origins and characteristics of blockchain technology and its applications in biomedical/healthcare domain. The target audiences include informatics researchers, clinicians, IT professionals, and leaders in healthcare or other organizations. The two instructors, Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado and Dr. Tsung-Ting Kuo, formed the team that was a winner at the Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-related Research Challenge held by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. They published a recent, highly-read biomedical/healthcare blockchain review paper in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). Dr. Kuo was awarded an NIH Pathway for Independence Award (K99/R00) award for biomedical/healthcare research based on blockchain technology. We plan to first provide an overview of biomedical/healthcare blockchain, followed by an introduction to features of different blockchain platforms, and finally present a use case of privacy-preserving predictive modeling as an exemplar application of biomedical/healthcare blockchain. The didactic contents will be delivered within 90 minutes. Additionally, we plan to enrich the blockchain experience of participants through hands-on interaction for 60 minutes in which they construct a basic blockchain network for use as a distributed ledger. Our tutorial is platform independent, while we will use one of the introduced platforms in the hands-on part of the course. After attending the course, we expect participants to have basic knowledge of blockchain technologies, compare features of popular blockchain platforms, understand a potential biomedical/healthcare blockchain application through a use case, and acquire basic skills to be an active participant in a team that builds a blockchain network for a biomedical/healthcare application.

Learning Objective 1: After participating this workshop, we expect participants to (1) have a basic knowledge of blockchain technologies, including their benefits, pitfalls, and the latest applications to the healthcare domains; (2) compare the characteristics of popular blockchain platforms in order to select suitable blockchain platform for a particular need; (3) understand potential uses of the biomedical/healthcare blockchain through a use case in privacy-preserving predictive modeling; and (4) acquire basic skills to be an active participant in a team that constructs a blockchain network and develops biomedical/healthcare applications on top of it.


Tsung-Ting Kuo (Presenter)
University of California San Diego

Lucila Ohno-Machado (Presenter)
University of California San Diego

Presentation Materials: