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Strategy 1: Foster Healthcare Management Leadership

According to industry research by the Nashville Healthcare Council, Nashville’s healthcare industry “contributes an overall economic benefit of $38.8 billion and more than 250,000 jobs to the local economy annually. Globally, Nashville’s health care industry generates more than $84 billion in revenue and more than 500,000 jobs.” An August 2016 study by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, entitled From healthcare capital to innovation hub: Positioning Nashville as a leader in health IT, states that Nashville’s opportunity “revolves around multiple areas of competitive advantage” including major IT investments within Nashville’s healthcare industry. Brookings further states that Nashville is at an advantage due to “substantial flows of high-value products and services generated in the region and sold through its extensive networks in national markets, and a high concentration of health-related research at Vanderbilt University”.

Strategic Actions

  1. Support innovation in the region by creating easy to use transfer contracts between universities and key industry associations to increase the economic impact of Healthcare Information Technology (HIT).
  2. Provide business support for local software firms selling their products outside the region.
  3. To build closer business ties between healthcare and IT, form a consortium of IT firms as well as a cross-industry working group that focuses on using healthcare data to improve human health.
  4. Expand existing accelerator programs by expanding partnerships with institutions, and explore nontraditional methods in IT and coding training.
  5. Develop a mentoring program to provide HIT experience to students in a variety of clinical settings.
  6. Launch a CEO network that brings global management to Nashville, helps young IT companies attract capital and connect to large healthcare firms, and strengthens the link between new businesses and established firms.
  7. Work with partners to explore and develop local ability to use blockchain as a new way of recording, managing and authenticating healthcare records.
  8. Sponsor coding user groups, and connect those groups with healthcare firms using HIT data-discovery challenges.

Case Study

Category: Blockchain Technology

Medical Records on the Blockchain

At the intersection of medical research and medical treatment, a team in Boston developed MedRec, an application designed to securely store medical records using blockchain, an online-distributed ledger for record-keeping. John Halamka, chief information officer at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center collaborated with the MIT Media Lab to conduct a six-month pilot of MedRec at Beth Israel. Over the course of six months, researchers tracked inpatient and outpatient medication data with code deployed through virtual machines at MIT. In a simulation of the data exchange process between institutions that a blockchain application would utilize, the team recorded vaccination history, blood work records, treatments and prescriptions by using two different databases within Beth Israel. Positive results led to plans for additional pilots with a larger network of hospitals.

Learn: Understand the Blockchain in Two Minutes

Explore: Blockchain for Health Data