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Registering patients at check-in, from insurance and identity checks, to patient matching and coverage records, remains manual, error-prone, and time consuming – largely because our mode of interacting with patient information has not yet caught up with today’s digital-centric world.

A movement is underway to change all of that. Today, a coalition across several industries unveiled the first step in the evolution of trusted and secure healthcare information exchange. This begins with a governance framework to ensure the ability to use common rules, regardless of the healthcare provider, payer or technology partner.

Under the Lumedic Exchange (the Exchange), Lumedic, Mastercard, Providence and Cambia Health Solutions have come together to advance a common set of digital identity principles that will be used to enable individuals to share their personal health information in a secure, verifiable and trusted way—when and how they want. The result will be a much more robust and user-friendly healthcare experience, by enabling patients to actively direct how their information is used, from registration to receiving test results.

“We’re living in a digital-first world, and patients today expect the same seamless, real-time experiences in their healthcare interactions that they have everywhere else,” said Mike Nash, Lumedic CEO. “Right now, patient data lives with any number of organizations, making it difficult for patients to have control of their own information. The Exchange is the first healthcare ecosystem focused specifically on using verifiable credentials to exchange information through patient-led transactions.”

Creating a Common Framework

The Exchange builds on existing cross-industry collaboration on digital identity, such as the recent launch of the Trust Over IP (ToIP) Foundation and the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) specifications for decentralized identifiers for credential management.

The Exchange will feature a patient-centric model that removes the need for a centralized vault of sensitive personal information. Instead, it shifts the ownership and control to the patient, who may grant permission for others to access sensitive, care-related information when it’s needed for specific uses.

Once finalized, the standards will be activated in a new digital platform designed to allow individuals to use any of their devices with a mobile wallet to obtain, store and share their own healthcare data—information including vaccination records, previous medical history, insurance information and test results.

The standards and digital platform will create a simple, expedient and more transparent and private experience for patients. They will also reduce time and cost for both patients and healthcare organizations.  

Providence, one of the nation’s largest health systems and a founding member of the Exchange, is already testing the use of this platform to streamline the delivery of COVID-19 test results and make it easier to securely and anonymously, satisfy health checks.

Extending Collaboration

The Exchange invites both companies and not-for-profit organizations to join its efforts. Current members bring expertise across a wide array of areas, ranging from patient advocacy to artificial intelligence, machine learning to blockchain, big data and more.

In conjunction with last month’s HLTH VRTL conference, the Exchange published two white papers, which explore governance models for digital trust and the intersection of digital identity and healthcare laws, respectively. For more information as well as additional details about the open standards effort, visit: https://www.lumedic.io/lumedic-exchange.

Quote Sheet

Cambia: “Cambia values standards-based collaborations that work to improve information exchange and patient outcomes,” said Cambia Chief Technology Officer Kirk Anderson. “We are very excited to join the innovative members of the Lumedic Exchange to explore new approaches for securely managing consumer identities across the healthcare ecosystem.”

Evernym: “Evernym is delighted to be supporting the technical delivery of the Lumedic Exchange,” said Steve Havas, CEO, Evernym. “We’ve been building towards a new paradigm in digital identity since 2013, one in which consumers are in control of their digital identity, and where privacy is a basic human right; we can think of no finer application of our technology than improving patient experiences.”

Mastercard: “People are looking for simple, safe and secure experiences when they’re going about their every day. These principles will guide how healthcare information is exchanged in this digital age,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer and president, healthcare, Mastercard. “At Mastercard, we are committed to high data standards and believe that individuals own their personal data and have the right to control how it is shared.”

“At the end of the day, trust is critical in the relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider,” said Chris Reid, executive vice president, Identity Solutions at Mastercard. “Our work in digital identity has been built on a framework of trust and partnership that keeps the consumer in control of their information. In joining this consortium, we aim to bring our experience in multi-party network governance to help ensure that the healthcare industry has data solutions that move as fast as its patients.”

Providence: “The manual data exchange processes still prevalent in our day-to-day health care operations create administrative burden, increase costs, delay care, and ultimately contribute to caregiver burnout and patient dissatisfaction,” said Eve Cunningham, chief medical officer, Providence Medical Group SWWA. “Our vision for the Lumedic Exchange is to simplify and streamline that process. As a healthcare provider, I can’t emphasize enough how important this work is to securing our future and ensuring we are providing the highest quality care for our patients.”

ToIP: “Lumedic Exchange provides a valuable example of how patients can use data to improve their access to quality healthcare without sacrificing security or privacy or relinquishing control of that data,” said John Jordan, Executive Director of the Trust over IP Foundation. “We hope this is the start of many more examples of trusted data exchange solutions that will be implemented by the organizations working together at the ToIP Foundation.”