MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ UnitedHealth Group has agreed to partner with a rival health insurer and one of the country's largest lab testing companies in a pilot project to examine sharing health care data through blockchain technology.

Reports say Minnesota-based UnitedHealth announced Monday that it will work with Kentucky-based Humana, New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics and a New York firm called MultiPlan.

UnitedHealth engineer Mike Jacobs says blockchain is software that began as a way to create a secure digital environment for exchanging financial information.

Officials hope the project will improve data accuracy, streamline administration and expand access to care. The first objective will be to see if the technology can make sure the list of doctors and hospitals within a health plan's directory of network providers stays accurate and current.