Is Blockchain the future of healthcare?

Is Blockchain the future of healthcare?

The way things are done in industries and organizations is changing as technology advances. Developed countries spend a large portion of their budget on healthcare, but inefficient practices and health data breaches must be avoided.

What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain is a method of storing information in such a way that it is difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. The goal of blockchain is to solve the problem of duplicate records without the use of a central server.
Blockchain can also be defined as a chain of information-containing blocks. The technique is intended to timestamp digital documents so that they cannot be backdated or tempered.

How is Blockchain Technology Used?
Blockchain can be used to manage and secure digital connections or to maintain a decentralized, shared system of record. Blockchain could be the ideal solution whenever you need to keep a long-term, transparent record of assets. Blockchain technology can also be used to document secure transactions, particularly between multiple partners. A traditional database may be adequate for recording simple transactions between parties, but as things become more complex, blockchain can reduce bottlenecks and simplify relationships.
Blockchain technology is a game-changer with the potential to impact not one or two industries, but the complete landscape of how business is done. When 200 healthcare executives were surveyed, 16 percent expect to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale sometime this year. The key players for blockchain adoption will be regulators, industry groups and market makers. Managing and securing data within healthcare and supply chain management are two great examples of principal concepts influencing and being impacted by possible blockchain adoption. Let’s take a brief look at each one:
Blockchain technology in healthcare.
Better data sharing between healthcare providers means a higher probability of accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, and the overall increased ability.
Blockchain can connect a complex team-based healthcare, finance, and payment system with the care provided. The inherent properties of encrypted public and private key access, proof of work, and distributed data result in a new level of credibility for healthcare data. Blockchain technology also makes it simple to track a drug from the producer to the patient. This improves a drug’s traceability as it moves through the supply chain and aids in the prevention of drug counterfeiting. In healthcare, blockchain has a broad scope of applications and uses. The ledger technology enables the secure transmission of medical records, manages the drug supply chain, and assists healthcare researchers in deciphering genetic code.
In the current system, security and trust are the most common concerns shared by businesses regarding the information shared between different entities. Information can be entered anywhere along the line of communication, and this leads to trust issues, especially in the healthcare industry. There are also concerns where multiple vendors hold different versions of the same patient record that are not validated, resulting in various errors, inconsistency, and incompleteness. Since blockchains are secure and the data present therein can be authenticated using digital signature that are unique to each person, this technology could be the answer to most of these concerns.
What is the Impact of Blockchain on Healthcare?
Only a few countries and organizations have recognized the potential of blockchain technology and made a significant impact. They improved the pace, safety, and efficiency of their healthcare system. Here are a few examples of places that have used Blockchain to enhance their processes..
Estonia, the size of Tennessee with the population of Maine, began using blockchain technology to secure healthcare data and process transactions in 2012. All healthcare billing in the country is now dealt on a blockchain, 95 percent of health details is ledger-based, and 99 percent of all prescription data is virtual.
BurstIQ, a Colorado-based platform, assists healthcare organizations in safely and securely managing large amounts of patient data. Its blockchain technology allows for the safekeeping, sale, sharing, or licencing of data while adhering to strict compliance standards. BurstIQ’s platform, which includes complete and up-to-date information about patients’ health and healthcare activity, may aid in the detection of opioid or other prescription drug abuse.
SimplyVital Health is bringing its decentralized technology to the healthcare industry. Its Nexus Health platform is an open-source database that allows healthcare providers to access relevant information and coordinate care on a patient’s blockchain. SimplyVital recently formed a Global Healthcare Blockchain Alliance with Shivom, a genomics and precision medicine company, to protect DNA sequencing data using blockchain security.
Coral Health uses blockchain to improve health outcomes by speeding up the care process, automating administrative processes, and accelerating the care process. By incorporating patient data into distributed ledger technology, the company connects doctors, scientists, lab technicians, and public health officials more quickly than ever before. According to Coral’s chief strategy officer the company is investigating the use of a blockchain to allow patients to track their own health files.
Tierion’s blockchain audits documents, records, and medicines to maintain a clear chain of custody. To maintain proof of ownership throughout a medical supply chain, the company employs timestamps and credentials. Tierion recently proposed a “multi-network coin” that could increase the versatility and applicability of Bitcoin.

So, is blockchain really worth using?
Although blockchain technology is vulnerable to some types of attacks, it also provides built-in protection against others. Blockchain can be used in a variety of healthcare settings, but not all healthcare activity is linked to transactions. However, because the data in public blockchains is widely accessible, they cannot be used to store private information such as identifying health data.
Blockchain has its own set of drawbacks, but should we overlook the benefits it offers in healthcare?
Blockchain technology has the potential to form a single system for storing and constantly updating health records for secure and rapid retrieval by authorized users. Countless mistakes can be avoided by preventing miscommunication between different healthcare professionals involved in caring for the same patient, faster medication and treatments become possible, and care can be personalized to each patient. By storing a specific set of standardized data on the chain, with private encrypted links to individually stored data such as x – ray or other pictures, the blockchain could provide a single transaction layer where organizations can submit and share information through one secure system. Furthermore, hacking would be constrained by the requirement to attack each user individually to obtain private information. As a result, blockchains can provide an immutable audit trail of health data.

Author

Hamza Javed

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