Luxoft has announced a blockchain 'adapter' that closely integrates with the Appian software suite to simplify deploying blockchain systems on existing IT architectures.
The idea is to allow customers building 'low code' apps on the Appian platform to more easily incorporate blockchain technology, where applicable.
The tool is available immediately, and Luxoft demonstrated how it might be able to help the medical sector at Appian World in Miami, Florida this week. For example, it could provide a single system of record to the disparate systems used by various healthcare providers such as hospitals, pharmacies, and so on.
It could also prove useful in tracking drugs, such as where a certain type of medication urgently needs to be recalled, it will be simpler to spot where they are. Luxoft has an IoT partnership with DHL that could make this a reality.
Naresh Kirpalani, global head of customer process technology at Excelian – the London-based financial services wing of Swiss company Luxoft – explained to Computerworld UK that the American healthcare system was the perfect area to demonstrate the usefulness of blockchain technology.
In the US healthcare space, a variety of different parties will need access to a patient’s medical data: this could be insurers, the pharmacies, or hospitals.
These are what Kirpalani calls ‘untrusted parties’ - that is, organisations that need to work together but don’t necessarily trust one another with this information. So at the moment there is a large paper trail and a lot of phone calls required to make sure each party is who they say they are, not to mention for compliance with local regulators.
Typically the whole process takes at least 24 hours. But by providing a trusted record with blockchain, that contains and verifies that information for all the parties to see, Luxoft has reduced transaction times to miliseconds.
This is a problem very specific to the US healthcare sector, but if the pilot proves successful then the technology could be applied to other sectors, like the drug trade mentioned above – Luxoft has talked to some European big pharma companies already – and also financial services.
“At Appian we value our partner ecosystem and are committed to supporting them as we grow in the key Healthcare market,” Marc Wilson, SVP global partnerships and industries at Appian said.
“Blockchain impacts organisations across all industries, but it is an especially difficult challenge within the healthcare industry given the complexities they face. Through our partnership with Luxoft, our customers now have a solution specifically designed to address these needs within the Appian platform.”
But the point isn’t just this demonstrable pilot stage use case built by Luxoft, it’s that the company hopes its product will enable integrating blockchain more easily into business processes for anyone.
That might not be just yet though, as blockchain is still very high in its hype cycle.
“It’s like cloud about five years ago,” said Luxoft’s Kirpalani. “Everybody said they wanted it but had no clue of how they were going to use it, this is the exact same place blockchain is in today.
"We know there is a need for interaction between untrusted parties – everybody knows they have to interact with parties outside their organisation – and blockchain is the perfect answer, and I think over the next couple of years it will evolve much faster.”