Tim K. Mackey, MAS, PhD

Articles by Author: Tim K. Mackey, MAS, PhD

Dr. Tim Ken Mackey is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, the Director of Healthcare Research and Policy at UC San Diego - Extension, and the Director of the Global Health Policy Institute. In addition to his academic appointments, he is also the CEO and Co-Founder of S-3 Research, a healthcare big data, machine learning, and blockchain startup that was first created after receiving a startup award from the National Institutes of Health and is now funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse though a Small Business Innovation Reward contract. Prof. Mackey is the author of over 140 publications and his research has been featured in high-impact journals such as Science, JAMA, Nature Biotechnology, the Lancet, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, and BMC Medicine. His research and expertise has also been featured in major news outlets such as CNN, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Vox:Recode, and Bloomberg. He also has extensive professional experience including over 10 years working in the private sector and acting as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the US Department of Justice, the US Department of State and others. He is also a principal faculty at the BlockLAB at the San Diego Super Computer Center where he acts as a principal investigator on several blockchain and healthcare research projects that are prototyping blockchain solutions. His multidisciplinary work focuses on technology (including big data, machine learning and blockchain), health policy, global governance, and global public health.

‘Fit-for-purpose?’ – challenges and opportunities for applications of blockchain technology in the future of healthcare

In the health sector, blockchain is being aggressively explored by various stakeholders to optimize business processes, lower costs, improve patient outcomes, enhance compliance, and enable better use of healthcare-related data. However, critical in assessing whether blockchain can fulfill the hype of a technology characterized as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘disruptive’, is the need to ensure that blockchain design elements consider actual healthcare needs from the diverse perspectives of consumers, patients, providers, and regulators. In addition, answering the real needs of healthcare stakeholders, blockchain approaches must also be responsive to  the unique challenges faced in healthcare compared to other sectors of the economy. In this sense, ensuring that a health blockchain is ‘fit-for-purpose’ is pivotal. This concept forms the basis for this article, where we share  views from a multidisciplinary group of practitioners at the forefront of blockchain conceptualization, development, and deployment.

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