Xerox has filed two patent applications for a technology that would securely revise electronic documents using blockchain, a digital ledger that enables cryptographic transactions to be recorded chronologically and publicly.
According to a report in the cryptocurrency trade journal CoinDesk, the Norwalk-based company filed its patents in February 2016, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office only recently making the filings public. Xerox envisioned “regional hospital systems or multinational corporations” as being the key markets for this technology.
Xerox was not known to be seeking involvement in blockchain technology development, and the first public hint that the company was heading in that direction was a June 28 blog posting by Ritesh Gandotra, director of global document outsourcing for Xerox India, who highlighted its potential in storing and exchanging electronic health records.
“What is essential in today’s data-driven economy is how patients can benefit from a records management system that provides a holistic and transparent picture of their medical history,” she wrote.
“This proves critical in establishing trust, as patients that doubt the confidentiality of their records may abstain from full, honest disclosures or even avoid treatment. In the age of online banking and social media, patients are increasingly willing, able and eager to manage their data on the go.”