Dental Records on the Blockchain: A Design Science Research

John Schwartz Jacobsen & Stefan Kristian Thaning

Student thesis: Master thesis


The topic of this research, is to find new ways to utilize the underlying Bitcoin technology, termed blockchain. In this thesis we focus on utilizing the blockchain technology in the field of dentistry and patient records. We will also attempt to provide a design of a proof of concept, implementing block chains. The empirical data collection was conducted by a mix of primary data from dentists, and secondary data about Electronic Patient Health Records (EPR) and field specific concepts. We structured the research approach with the Design Science Research framework. During the research process, we discovered that using blockchain technologies within the field of dentistry and EPR was viable. One the other hand, we found that the issues raised in EPR literature, did not have the same scale of impact in the field of dentistry as we first presumed. By extension, we learned that dentists are acting as decentralized silos with no innately cooperation other than the occasional journal distribution. We learned that blockchains can be used as an underlying support layer to existing IT infrastructures. This research contributes to that we now know, it is possible to distribute patient health records on the blockchain technology, in a secured and permission-based manner. The relevance of this lies in the fact that data can be distributed via a trustless and decentralized network infrastructure and could possibly be used to create an entire ecosystem around data-sharing.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages78
SupervisorsMichel Avital