Blockchain Technology and its Impact on the Healthcare Industry
Blockchain is one of the emerging technologies which is used by many sectors including healthcare for creating innovative solutions.
To preserve patient data is not an easy task but with the help of blockchain technology, you can exchange patient data. It does not only help in-store patient data but it will also accurately identify severe mistakes in the medical field.
So it will help in improving the performance, security, and transparency of sharing medical data in the health care system. This blockchain technology is very helpful for medical institutions to gain insight and it will also enhance the analysis of medical records.
Blockchain is a potential technology that plays a vital role and improving data efficiency for healthcare. Because of the various capabilities and unified workflow process of blockchain technology, it supports healthcare in manifold ways.
Blockchain in healthcare can help avoid the fear of data manipulation and supports a unique data storage pattern that helps you to store data with the highest security. So you can keep the health records safe and confidential for different purposes.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is a distributed system that generates as well as stores data records. It maintains a digital channel of connected “blocks” of information that represent how data is shared, changed, or accessed on its peer-to-peer network.
When a connected device is involved in any kind of transaction all the devices on the same blockchain system will generate identical blocks. The information on every device-generated through blocks and one computer’s date is accessed, changed, shared, or otherwise manipulated in any way.
This is the way changes to data can be identified easily. It is a decentralized approach that allows data parity to be achieved by comparing every connected device’s blocks.
Blocks are stored together in chronological order so this is important and it will also directly reference the preceding block’s hash.
Therefore trying to change the data of one block would immediately cause a succeeding block to identify a hash change. This is the reason that connected blocks from a “chain” are securely wrought in an immutable, reliable, decentralized manner.
Accurate, secure, and a catalyst for utmost accountability, blockchain makes it almost impossible to mimic, manipulate, or otherwise falsifying data. This opens the doors to many possibilities chief of all being the exchange, storage, and access of data between connected parties.
Blockchain technology is a game-changer for each and every industry including healthcare. Blockchain technology adoption helps in managing and securing data within healthcare and supply chain management.
Use Cases of Blockchain for the Digital Healthcare Industry
#1. Supply Chain Transparency
A major difficulty in the healthcare sector is ensuring the provenance of medical goods to confirm authenticity. A blockchain supply chain can help participants record price, date, location, quality, certification, and other relevant information to more efficiently manage the supply chain.
In the manufacturing industry, the availability of this information within the blockchain can increase traceability of the material supply chain, lower losses from the counterfeit and gray market, improve visibility and compliance over outsourced contract manufacturing, and potentially enhance an organization’s position as a leader.
If we talk about the medical industry authenticity is the main concern and ensuring the provenance of medical goods is difficult. Using a blockchain-based system to track medical items from the manufacturing point and at each stage through the supply chain enables customers to have full visibility and transparency of the goods they are buying.
#2. Patient-centric electronic health records
Nowadays with the help of technological advancements, everyone wants to aspire towards a more patient-centered system where patients can routinely access and control their own medical data. Essentially, in this way you are able to own your data and also allow others from accessing your records.
Some blockchain-based companies are working towards providing an organized and efficient system for health care. They want to ensure these medical records are free of error, quickly processed, and easily transferred between different locations.
Their innovative system involves a structured discharge process and doctors are also trained to follow that system. All the data is decentralized so sharing that data between hospitals and other stakeholders is easier than traditional approaches which were used before.
Medicalchain is also one of those systems that could be applied internationally for buildings a blockchain-based system. For example, if you received treatment outside of your country, this system would enable the simple sharing of your medical records and other important personal information with a global provider of your choosing.
#3. Smart contracts for insurance and supply chain settlements
In the healthcare industry pricing structures often change and having shared digital contracts with the help of blockchain technology helps a lot.
Since having divided computerized agreements among makers, merchants, and medical care associations signed on a blockchain record, rather than every player having their own variant of agreements, they can altogether lessen disagreements about installment chargeback claims for professionally prescribed prescriptions and different products.
Similarly, shared smart contracts can be used to manage medical insurance contracts for patients, where Curisium states that 10% of claims are disputed. Like in other use cases, once this data is digitized and easily accessible, insurance providers can use more advanced analytics to optimize health outcomes and costs.
#4. Medical staff credential verification
Many companies provide blockchain-based systems in the healthcare sector and track transactions of goods and services also add payment settlement details for those goods and services.
This type of environment goes a step beyond supply chain management to also enable trading partners and insurance providers in the healthcare sector to operate based on fully digital and in some cases automated contract terms.
By having shared digital contracts between manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare organizations they have a clear idea about the price and they can significantly reduce disputes over payment chargeback claims for prescription medicines and other goods.
#5. IoT security for remote monitoring
Adopting a remote monitoring solution is the biggest trend in digital health systems. The healthcare practitioners are able to more visible into patients’ health and also enable more proactive and preventive care.
However, security is an immense issue in wellbeing IoT, both as far as guaranteeing that patient information is private and secure and that it isn’t altered to make bogus data. At times, where an associated gadget might be relied upon in crisis circumstances, for example cautioning an older individual’s carer that they have experienced a fall or a cardiovascular failure, it is likewise vital that the supporting frameworks are exceptionally versatile to DDoS or different assaults disturbing assistance.
#6. Improving security, privacy, and reliability of data exchange and interoperability
Health technology experts believe that health records and medical data need to be stored in the cloud. This helps users easier access their data and also helps in communicating with each other in a seamless way. Moreover, the integrity and authenticity of records stored in the cloud remain questionable.
Blockchain is a technology that could address these issues and potentially increase the integrity and consistency of exchanged health information. With blockchain technology, patient information can be easily transferred between different providers and organizations.
There is no need for further verification or a middleman. Instead, “smart” contracts, which are immutable through the use of blockchain, are used as a better alternative.
Data exchange is crucial and sensitive but blockchain technology can significantly change how your critical information is viewed. Because records are encrypted end to end and that can’t be altered so blockchain helps prevent fraud and unauthorized activity.
The main concern about privacy can also be addressed on blockchain technology. Because in blockchain technology information is stored across a network of computers rather than a single server and it will make it difficult for hackers to view data.
Blockchain technology is one of the major technologies that provide the best way to secure the data of the shared community. It is one of the major technologies allowing to remain competitive without requiring the trust of anyone third party.
This technology is helpful to handle the data that is distributed across a network of people. Moreover, the technology could also be useful in public services to keep public records decentralized and safe.
By utilizing the capabilities of the blockchain nobody can read or interfere with any sensitive stored data. The high level of security offered by a distributed ledger system offers benefits to establishing a secure data network. Businesses offering services in consumer products and services adopt blockchain technology to secure record consumers’ data.
This technology is evolving new opportunities to disrupt business services and solutions for consumers. In the future, this technology will emerge with evolving global services in various sectors as the front-runner.
So blockchain is an emerging technology being applied on a wide range of applications and functions for creating innovative solutions in various sectors including healthcare.
About the Author!
Katrina Bennett is working with Local Injury Network one of the healthcare services providers. She like to spend her time writing about healthcare and the latest technology news. In her free time, she enjoy reading about science and fiction. Connect with her on Facebook, Linkedin.