Health departments are required to report cases of tuberculosis to CDC. More than 1,000 HL7 messages (used to transfer electronic data between disparate healthcare systems) are sent per day, and data must pass through multiple points before reaching CDC. As a result, transmission errors can arise; data quality issues such as accuracy and completeness must be continually monitored and addressed.
Blockchain has the potential to transform public health and the entire healthcare system through its distributed, immutable, and cryptographically secured digital ledger. Blockchain offers a fundamental shift in how the internet and information systems can be used in public health, specifically the technology enables a trust ecosystem without the use of a centralized, trusted 3rd-party.
If this research and development project proves successful, blockchain technology could transform how DTBE and other CDC programs securely transfer and manage surveillance data, leading to more accurate, efficient, and transparent surveillance data exchange.