A London GP practice is offering patients the ability to pay for private services using cryptocurrency.
Patients at The Groves Medical Centre in New Malden are able to book paid-for video consultations with a doctor of their choice using MyClinic, an app developed by blockchain software firm Medicalchain.
Payment for appointments can be made by credit and debit card, or by using Medicalchain’s own cryptocurrency, dubbed ‘MedTokens’. These can be purchased on six exchanges, including Bitfinex, Huobu, Kucoin, Gate.io, Qyrptos and Coinbene.
MyClinic allows patients to store a version of their electronic health record that can be accessed via a smartphone or tablet device.
It incorporates blockchain technology so any access to the patient’s electronic record can be tracked securely.
Medicalchain argues that the addition of blockchain enables patients to view and share their consultation notes more securely, as access is tracked on a distributed ledger.
This, the company hopes, will help pave the way for integrated and consistent medical reports. The idea is that any conflicting information is automatically flagged up, while historic data cannot be lost – resulting in a single “clean and accurate version” of a patient’s medical history.
The trial at Groves Medical Centre is open to anyone in the UK, and registering to participate in the pilot does not remove patients from registration at their existing GP practice.
The pilot provides patients access to their post-appointment notes following the video call.
Additional MyClinic services launching in 2019 include appointments with consultants and nurses, arranging blood tests and online health triaging.
Dr Vince Gripauldo, a partner at The Groves Medical Group, said: “We are proud to be the first clinic in the world to use blockchain technology to offer secure video consultations.
“MyClinic.com is a perfect fit for our practice as it allows patients to quickly book appointments on their mobile app, see their doctor from any location and gain access to their appointment reports following each consultation.”
According to Medicalchain, MyClinic will be integrated with two “medical data solutions” used by GPs in the UK within the next six months.
Following the pilot with The Groves Medical Group, the intention is to expand the setup to other health services in the UK and internationally.