Xerox Patent Applications Reveal Plan for Blockchain Records System

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Technology giant Xerox wants to patent a way to securely revise electronic documents using blockchain, public records show.

The company – perhaps best known for its eponymous copying machines – filed a pair of applications in February 2016, according to new records released by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The concept laid out in the applications envisions a network of nodes – all of which can share data via a blockchain – are creating and updating documentary records.

As for who might use the proposed system, Xerox suggests “regional hospital systems or multi-national corporations” might find it applicable to their needs.

One of the applications explain:

“In one embodiment, the auditing system uses an encryption process, such as public key cryptography, to sign all record changes in an electronic document (with the private half of a key pair) and to verify that records have not been altered (with the public half of the key pair). This is important in ensuring the security of record changes before they are fixed in the blockchain. The security of the disclosed system and method may improve as the system becomes larger.”

Notably, it’s that first use case – healthcare – that Xerox has honed in on in the relatively few statements the firm has made on blockchain to date.

In a blog post published late last month, Ritesh Gandotra, director of global document outsourcing for Xerox India pointed to the tech as a potential platform for storing and exchange electronic health records.

“The current need of the industry is a solution that is not only innovative but also decentralised — a record management system that handles [electronic health records] using blockchain technology,” she wrote.

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