HIT Network: Blockchain Infrastructure for the USD 10 Trillion Healthcare Market

November 13, 2019
Paul Rieger

The global healthcare market is rallying towards USD 10 trillion by 2021 with digital health as one of the fastest-growing sectors. The ability to utilize data more effectively will lead us to a digital health market worth USD 509 billion by 2025 but its data-driven nature poses many challenges and most processes around data acquisition and data protection have remained unchanged. Large corporations dominate the playing field, accumulating massive amounts of data. Access to patients is still a challenge due to data protection and other information privacy laws. Considering the huge potential, maybe it is time to rethink how we approach data-driven business models in healthcare and the backend infrastructure we use to facilitate health data exchanges. What if there was a way to unlock the value of health data while protecting the privacy of patients? This is why we are building HIT Network: An open blockchain infrastructure for healthcare. HIT Network is not affiliated with a specific government or consortium and comes with a healthcare-specific digital currency, the HIT payment token, that can be used for incentives and settlement. 

What are the benefits for patients?

Health data should first and foremost improve patient outcomes. Current business models revolve around centralized storage of health data where patients have no control over how their data is used. This has led to countless data breaches and companies being acquired solely for the value of data they possess. The introduction of blockchain infrastructure as a backend enables business cases that focus on transparency and fair incentives to share data. We believe in a future where patients grant access to their health data directly, regaining control over their digital data. HIT Network will play a vital role as a trustless facilitator, allowing the patient to participate directly in the value creation of “digital health data”.

What are the benefits for research groups and therapy providers?

Access to real-world evidence is vital for the development of new cures and treatments, patients’ safety, and faster access that equals faster time to market. However, most health data passes through multiple vendors before it becomes available for research (increasing the cost, development time and risk of tampering of the data). Access to health data can be facilitated through apps like Centiva that utilize HIT Network as a trustless backend to connect patients and providers without a middleman. (Data) Providers also have the opportunity to use HIT Network as infrastructure for their own use cases such as securing supply chain processes or empowering telehealth applications. Having access to field-tested infrastructure can jumpstart innovation without dragging critical resources from other projects.

What are the benefits for payers?

Real-world evidence allows payers to predict the cost-effectiveness and safety of new treatments. Apps like Centiva that utilize HIT Network can provide access to real-world evidence but payers can go even further. Prevention programs and adherence programs are just two examples of incentive-based use cases that can be launched on the HIT Network. Faster and direct payouts, fewer fees and more transparency allow payers to launch effective programs with high retention rates. Additionally, a shared blockchain infrastructure can facilitate complex multi-party scenarios that require approval from different stakeholders. Whereas these processes are impossible to audit by all parties when using a centralized system, building them on HIT Network will create an immutable audit trail that assures all parties and expedites the approval. 


HIT Foundation has partnered with NEM Foundation as our technology partner. NEM technology is an enterprise-grade open-source blockchain technology that focuses on security and scalability. We are planning to launch HIT Network in late 2020. Centiva will be the first application to utilize the infrastructure and its payment token HIT to offer a decentralized health data marketplace. Further, we are engaging with stakeholders from digital and non-digital healthcare who are interested in unlocking the potential of blockchain for their business and we are looking forward to more projects building on HIT Network in the future.

If you are interested in exploring how your business can leverage HIT Network, send an email to the author: paul@hit.foundation

Learn more about Centiva for Patients: https://www.centiva.health/solutions/centiva-for-patients

Learn more about Centiva for Providers: https://www.centiva.health/solutions/centiva-for-healthcare-providers


1) Deloitte (2019). Global health care outlook: Shaping the future. https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/global-health-care-sector-outlook.html (Accessed 4 November 2019)

2) Global Digital Health Market Size, Share 2017: Industry Growth, Segments, Trends Analysis and Forecast, 2024. https://www.zionmarketresearch.com/report/digital-health-market [Accessed 3 November 2019].

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