TripAdvisor and healthcare can take advantages from the blockchain. As grocers already have

07.Dec.2018 | Insights

Small communities started to use distributed ledgers much earlier than the invention of the blockchain. Well, they were easier versions of the technology, but they actually worked in the same way. And it is something that all those who were born before the technological revolution have experienced in their life. Fausto Villani, CEO of TBoxChain, told us a story that well illustrates what we are talking about: «It was the summer of 1982. While Italy was winning the World Cup in Spain, in Melfi, a small village in Basilicata, grandma Lina asked her 6-year-old grandson Michele to buy a packet of pasta and a packet of sugar at Graziella’s. She gave him a piece of paper with these two things noted on and wrote the same on a coloured notebook. Michele went to Graziella’s, gave her the note and took sugar and pasta; meanwhile, Graziella noted them on her own notebook. Then, at a later stage, Lina herself went to Graziella’s, they both checked their notebook and Lina paid for all the things she had bought. Well, this is a community based on trust and a distributed ledger, isn’t it?».

Actually, it is. However, Mr Villani’s project is an example of the lack of trust in nowadays society. A problem that can be faced with the blockchain. As he explained, his TBoxChain makes it possible to certify online reviews: «If we place this box in restaurants, hotels, museums or other attractions, we will be sure that the person who wants to post a review about that place has actually visited it. In fact, he will have to place his phone near the box and register on a blockchain its geographic position». A sort of certified TripAdvisor.

Many have imagined (and some have created) a TripAdvisor for the healthcare field, where patients can review doctors and facilities. Many, again, have imagined (and are starting) to apply the blockchain in healthcare (a sector where «the word ‘trust’ is rarely used’», according to Villani) because its advantages are enormous: «Let’s think about appointments and the risk that someone might not respect the queue – said Fausto Villani -: the blockchain can help tracing them and face this problem. Another possible application is related to the electronic health record, about which we talk much but is not very common yet: the blockchain might solve many problems related to interoperability and privacy».

In order to make these thoughts real, however, we need people who are technically able to do so. We therefore need to train those who will deal with the blockchain: «A challenge to education – as Mr Villani defined it – because the blockchain is not only a technology, but an interaction of technology, social innovation and organizational innovation. It therefore forces the education system to create new interdisciplinary paths». And that is exactly the purpose of the MBA in Blockchain and Economics of Cryptocurrencies, organised by the Link Campus University and Consulcesi Tech.