Non-Fungible Tokens as a Mechanism for Representing Patient Consent

Cunningham, James and Davies, Nigel and Devaney, Sarah and Holm, Søren and Harding, Mike and Neumann, Victoria and Ainsworth, John (2022) Non-Fungible Tokens as a Mechanism for Representing Patient Consent. In: Challenges of Trustable AI and Added-Value on Health - Proceedings of MIE 2022. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics . IOS Press, FRA, pp. 382-386. ISBN 9781643682846

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In recent years we have seen the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT), originally the mechanism underpinning the operation of the Bitcoin crypto currency, across a wider range of technology sectors including healthcare. DLT allows for the design of informatics systems with the properties of immutability, security, and decentralization. One recent innovation in the space has been the specification and development of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs are decentralized DLT-based records that represent ownership of a unique digital asset. The predominant current use case for NFTs has been in the representation and sale of digital artwork, however the features offered by NFTs, unique-ness, immutability, transferability, and verifiability, are directly applicable to the design of health informatics systems. In this paper we explore these properties and describe a reference architecture for using NFTs as a means of representing and transferring records of patient’s consent for medical data use.

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04 Nov 2022 13:05
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17 Sep 2023 04:11