Early Experiences with Blockchain and EHRs


  • John D. Halamka, MD, MS Beth Israel Deaconess System, Chairman, New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Co-Chair, HIT Standards Committee, Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Robert Chu Embleema, CEO and CTO
  • Keith Hanna IPRD Solutions, Chief Executive Officer
  • Katherine Kuzmeskas SimplyVital Health, Co-Founder


Session Description: Usability, product value, role of cryptocurrency, standards, and EHR integration plus lessons learned from Embleema Health Blockchain public launch use case  to include patient usability, EMR format compliance, cysticfibrosis.com patient community feedback, and pharma feedback.


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Author Biographies

John D. Halamka, MD, MS, Beth Israel Deaconess System, Chairman, New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Co-Chair, HIT Standards Committee, Professor, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Halamka completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, where he received a degree in medical microbiology and a degree in public policy with a focus on technology issues. He entered medical school at the University of California, San Francisco and simultaneously pursued graduate work in bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley focusing on technology issues in medicine. He completed his residency at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

In his role at BIDMC, Dr. Halamka is responsible for all clinical, financial, administrative, and academic information technology, serving 3,000 doctors, 12,000 employees, and 1,000,000 patients. As chairman of NEHEN, Dr. Halamka oversees clinical and administrative data exchange among the payers, providers, and patients in Massachusetts.   As a Harvard professor, he has served the George W. Bush administration, the Obama administration, and national governments throughout the world planning their healthcare IT strategy.

Dr. Halamka has authored five books on technology-related issues, hundreds of articles and thousands of posts on the popular Geekdoctor blog. He runs Unity Farm in Sherborn, MA and serves as caretaker for 150 animals, 30 acres of agricultural production and a cidery/winery. 

Robert Chu, Embleema, CEO and CTO


Recognizing the considerable potential of cloud and blockchain technologies in the healthcare industry and the need for better solves for care continuum and pervasive cyber-security issues, Robert founded Embleema in 2017 after a distinguished career at IBM and QuintilesIMS. Robert worked for IBM in Europe and the US for more than 15 years, serving in key technical and management positions such as Global Wireless Solutions Executive in the US and Director of Telecommunications, Media & Utilities Sector for IBM France. In June of 2007, Robert joined IMS Health France and served as the General Manager of the affiliate in 2011. He then moved to Shanghai in China in 2013 to run the Asia Pacific and China operations for IMS Health. Robert was subsequently promoted in 2015 to Senior Vice President, Global Technology Solutions, responsible for the management of a 1,400 employees and $800 million business, delivering SaaS solutions for the healthcare and life sciences industries globally. Robert graduated with a Master's Degree in Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France in 1988 and obtained a Master's in Computer Sciences shortly thereafter from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in 1990. Robert's extensive professional experience in healthcare Information Technology and relationships in the healthcare industry at the executive management level make him well positioned to lead Embleema to financial success.

Keith Hanna, IPRD Solutions, Chief Executive Officer


From 2005-2015 Dr. Hanna was a board member and Chief Technology/Innovation Officer at EyeLock Corporation, a company he co-founded to enable the global deployment of iris recognition. EyeLock is now a leading biometric provider with major commercialization partners worldwide, including Stanley Security Solutions,Wistron NeWeb Corporation, and Voxx International Corporation. Voxx, a global manufacturer and supplier of consumer electronics products, acquired a controlling interest in EyeLock Corporation in August 2015.
Previously, he held various positions at Sarnoff Corporation including Group Head, Vision Systems. He co-founded several Sarnoff spin-off companies and embedded within them for over 3 years.
He received a B.A. in Engineering Sciences and a D.Phil in Medical Image Processing and Computer Vision, from Oxford University.

Katherine Kuzmeskas, SimplyVital Health, Co-Founder


Katherine Kuzmeskas, MPH is the founder and CEO of SimplyVital Health. SimplyVital Health provides an intentionally simple care coordination platform that uses Blockchain technology to prevent denials and increase reimbursement for value based programs and MACRA.

Prior to founding SimplyVital Health, Katherine was the Program Manager of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care for Yale New Haven Health where she managed, designed, and analyzed the joint replacement and spine bundles and gainsharing programs. Katherine’s experience also includes strategic planning for the medicine and surgery service lines at Yale New Haven Health and overseeing the design and development of an enterprise wide care management dashboard at a statewide community health center network.



How to Cite

Halamka, J. D., Chu, R., Hanna, K., & Kuzmeskas, K. (2018). Early Experiences with Blockchain and EHRs. Blockchain in Healthcare Today. Retrieved from https://blockchainhealthcaretoday.com/index.php/journal/article/view/75

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