Blockchains originated as a technology to make money exchanging transfers faster.
It is a system for storing and sharing information that is secure because of its transparency. This technology was initially used in digital currency such as Bitcoin but was later used in other sectors such as insurance, banking, and even in healthcare.
More technically, blockchain is a decentralized, transparent record of peer-to-peer transactions made from connected transaction blocks and stored in a distributed digital ledger, often known as a “public digital ledger”.
In the medical industry, blockchain technology has been broadly implemented for the free exchange of knowledge from one location to another. The blockchain-powered technology unlocks barriers to the exchange of health records and guarantees personal security.
The influence of Blockchain on a patient would be considerable on:
- Sharing records
- Mobile monitoring
- Clinical analysis
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?
Simply put, you can think of Blockchain as your social media page where anyone can view the information but can’t alter the information. One block hash is generated using a mixture of blocks before, and together it becomes a chain of blocks. This is called the Blockchain.
Blockchain is a distributed storage system that is designed to be safe. This makes Blockchain ideal for conducting tasks such as tracking medical records and other administrative operations, including transaction processing, origin reporting, voting, identity management, and food traceability.
In this blog, we’re going to highlight how blockchain is revolutionising the healthcare industry.
HOW THINGS WORK NOW?
Many healthcare institutions currently rely on old frameworks to manage patient health records. These out-of-date applications keep patient treatment details in local databases that can allow a diagnosis:
- Complicated with the Doctor
From patient personal records to test results and specialist orders, healthcare institutions are using a consolidated database to store data.
As the data is processed at a single centralised site, it leads to issues such as:
- Thefts of personality
- Spamming up
- The criminality of financial records
BLOCKCHAIN’S POTENTIAL IN HEALTHCARE
Although few disagree about its promise, the usage and implementation of blockchain are still in their very early stages.
- Accelerate research and development
- Establish more effective paths to treatment
- Improve—and measure—patient outcomes
Blockchain technology has the power to change health care, putting patients at the heart of the health care environment and improve the protection, privacy and interoperability of health data. This technology could offer a new paradigm for health information exchange (HIE) by making electronic medical records more effective and safe.
Blockchain now has an enormous appeal to healthcare professionals across the industry who need safe and reliable access to a patient’s full medical records.
1. Medical Data Management
Medical error is one of the major problems that lead to fatalities and ignorance.
Blockchain can safely enable the sharing of patient information between health systems, both globally and across borders, and improve the collaboration of member health management.
This will decrease processing costs and risks, and also promote medical tourism.
Located in Colorado, USA, BurstIQ uses blockchain to change the way medical knowledge is shared and used. BurstIQ’s software helps healthcare organisations to handle large volumes of patient data safely while maintaining strict compliance with HIPAA while enabling:
- Safekeeping Details
- Sale of data
- Data exchange
- Licensing details
2. Drug Development and Supply
According to the Health Research Funding Organization (HRFO), more than 10% to 30% of drugs marketed in developing countries are counterfeit.
One of the real-life e.g is:Established by LeewayHertz Technology located in California, USA, TraceRx is a blockchain-based pharmaceutical monitoring and counterfeit solution. TraceRX lets UNO monitor the delivery of free drugs and detect any inefficiencies or losses.
TraceRX network uses blockchain to deal with the problems of fraud, retrieval, and shipping of pharmaceuticals.
It makes the process safer, more open, and more stable. This helps patients to check the authenticity of medications before buying or use.
3.Claims, Billing Management, and Fraud
About 5-10% of healthcare expenses are illegal, and in 2014 the federal government recovered $5.7 billion in cases of health care fraud. Medicare fraud accounts for about $30 million in damages each year.
Using a blockchain-based automation technology could dramatically reduce admin costs related to claims, payments, and processing times and make intermediaries redundant.
4.Patient & Drug Identity Validation
Blockchain can fix the dilemma of patient identity fraud and can reduce the use of false IDs by impersonators. Since blockchain documents are permanent and can be checked, this function can be used for the authentication and authentication of patients, thereby reducing the impersonation of patient IDs to buy drugs for substance trafficking purposes. Located in London, Medicalchain’s blockchain-based platform:
- Protects the privacy of patients from outside outlets.
- Maintains confidentiality of documents.
- Keeps documents of origin.
Drug identification can be verified using blockchain technologies. Giving transparent information on individual products will minimise the number of counterfeit drugs in distribution.
5.Backing Research & Treatment of Healthcare Data
There have been many organisational difficulties in organising and communicating studies or clinical trials, as it needs a collective initiative across a wide variety of organisations. This might lead to abuse of intellectual property and dishonesty. Using blockchain will improve this by allowing users to authenticate their records and to have proof of presence. Test findings, statistics, and quality reports can be exchanged by researchers without fear of infringement of intellectual property.
Blockchain-enabled healthcare solution
One of the major examples for this is sharing and storing medical records of patients and how the main key is in the patient’s hands.
- Health care providers collect information from patients.
- The data is stored in existing databases.
- A hash is generated from each source of data and redirected to the blockchain.
- The patient decides who has access to their medical records.
- Health care stakeholders will consult the blockchain to gain access to the details.
Benefits of blockchain in the health sector:
The main concerns a blockchain should always provide are Trust, Incentive, and Identity. There are several advantages of blockchain in healthcare, such as:
- Simplified data method
- Interoperability of the device
- Regulation of data
The Future of Blockchain
While Blockchain technology is not completely mature today, it offers a wide variety of healthcare opportunities. More and more start-up companies are exploring the potential uses of blockchain in the health sector, a sector that should be gradually integrated by acquisition operations.
One of the key drawbacks of blockchain in its present form is the high demand for electricity for its service. But with time, the solution will arise in one way or another.
The future could see an inversion of this model, with a patient giving a single consent by blockchain, providing information for sharing and exchanging data and desires for clinical care and protection, which they could eventually gain access to.
Some functionality can be deployed today, but before blockchain can be embraced by organisations globally, it must evolve to address future behavioral, technological, organisational, and economic concerns.
Since blockchain boosts privacy and usability, it can be used in many different fields of the healthcare system, such as the collection and exchange of patient records and insurance documents both in healthcare centers and in smartphone devices and remote monitoring systems, as well as in clinical trials. Research on blockchain applications to healthcare is currently limited, but more research is available every day. Blockchain is one of the most active fields of blockchain research currently ongoing, which will shift the health hierarchy by restoring power over medical records and health data to the patient. This transition of authority may contribute to an overall change towards patient-centered care; the blockchain revolution for patients is just beginning.
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