The healthcare business has been dealing with data breaches, rising hospital expenses, and inefficient processes for years. These issues can be quite costly, highlighting the need for more efficiency and innovation in the healthcare system.
Is BlockChain the New Healthcare Buzzword?
One area where blockchain technology has the potential to improve things is healthcare. From mass-scale pandemics to preserving and securing patient data, we’ve got you covered. Because of its tamper-resistant and decentralised nature, blockchain technology can address a variety of difficulties that plague the healthcare industry.
1. Medical Investigations
Electronic health records are becoming increasingly used in healthcare systems because they allow for the automatic updating and sharing of each patient’s medical information.However, they are only useful for sharing within a company or a network of companies.
With the introduction of blockchain technology, this data might be arranged so that only non-personally identifiable data is stored on the blockchain’s top layer.Researchers and other organisations would get access to this vast pool of data, which includes cohorts of millions of patients, if the personal information was changed.
The capacity to access such a large amount of data will tremendously aid clinical research, public health reporting, and the reporting and identification of adverse events.This is one of the reasons why students at Caribbean medical universities and other universities are encouraged to experiment with this technology.
2. Keeping Patient Information Safe
Between 2009 and 2017, there were approximately 176 million data breaches involving healthcare records. Ensure the safety and security of medical data and records is perhaps one of the most important applications of blockchain technology.
Data breaches are common in the healthcare industry.Of course, credit card and banking information is frequently compromised, but data from health records, including specialist tests such as genomic records, has also been taken.
The integrity of sensitive patient data must be protected at all costs.
The capacity of blockchain to preserve an incorruptible and transparent ledger of all patient data would be extremely beneficial to security applications. Not to add, blockchain technology is both private and transparent, capable of successfully concealing any individual’s identity through the use of complicated and unbreakable protocols.
Blockchain technology keeps track of critical patient information in a decentralised manner.
Healthcare providers, physicians, and patients can share information in a secure and efficient manner using blockchain. BurstIQ’s platform, for example, uses innovative blockchain technology to improve how medical data is shared and used while remaining compliant with HIPAA regulations.They can prevent prescription drug abuse by keeping a detailed and up-to-date record of each patient.
3. Supply chains for vaccines
Blockchain technology has the potential to solve the difficult problem of worldwide vaccination distribution by bringing trust and efficiency to the vaccine supply chain.
This emerging development can enhance vaccine allocation by providing a real-time and precise snapshot of inventories. The most significant advantage of this technology is that it reduces vaccine supply and distribution fraud.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 30% of all vaccines produced in underdeveloped nations are counterfeit – (not speaking of the current COVID-19 vaccine).
Vaccination distributors are turning to blockchain technology to create an unforgeable and irreplaceable digital identity for each drug or vaccine that is particularly vulnerable to fraud.
It should be difficult to clone or transfer the identifier between objects.Markers such as fabric patterns or pill marking, for example, might assist ensure the safety of the vaccination supply chain by proving the authenticity of products.
Chronicled, for example, uses blockchain networks to maintain track of chain-of-custody. The networks assist pharmaceutical businesses in ensuring that their medications arrive safely, as well as alerting them to any suspect activities, such as drug trafficking.
4. Switching Patients Between Providers with Ease
Patients would be able to unlock and share their health data with other physicians or groups via blockchain technology. A shareable private key could be used to access the information recorded on the blockchain.This technique has the potential to make health information technology more collaborative among users.
5. Genomics Advancement
Genomics has enormous potential for improving human health in the future. Thanks to blockchain technology, what was previously a far-fetched fantasy has now become a scientific and financial reality.
A human genome used to cost upwards of $1 billion to process, but now it costs as little as $1000.
Many companies are undertaking DNA tests that can reveal information about our health. The capacity of blockchain to safely and securely store billions of genetic data points can substantially benefit genomics.
Pharmaceutical and biotech corporations used to spend billions of dollars each year on third-party genetic data. Companies, on the other hand, may now entice users to sell their encrypted genetic data to this large pool of data while remaining confident that their information is secure.
Scientists may now get their hands on this vital Genomics data more quickly than ever before.
For example, Nebula Genomics is leveraging blockchain technology to make genetics research more accessible and affordable. Companies can also share medical and genetic data with a global community of scientists in order to improve predictive models.
6. Healthcare Errors That Can Be Avoided
The healthcare business might lose a lot of money due to miscommunication between medical experts. Obtaining access to a patient’s medical records can be time-consuming and inconvenient. The lag time might cause quality care to be delayed and employees to be depleted.
Because blockchain-based medical records are decentralised, pharmacies, hospitals, lab technicians, public health agencies, and physicians may simply access them.
In a nutshell, blockchain technology helps healthcare organisations construct individualised care plans by speeding up diagnostics, automating administrative operations, and assisting in the development of personalised care plans.Open access to relevant medical information allows healthcare workers to better coordinate their efforts and provide faster care.
Blockchain medical records are being used by a number of tech-savvy companies to construct shared databases.
SimplyVital, for example, uses blockchain technology to help construct an open-source database that allows healthcare practitioners to quickly access patient information and coordinate care.
7. Insurance and supply chain settlements using smart contracts
Blockchain-based technologies are gaining traction in the healthcare industry, bringing together a variety of stakeholders.Under one tent, we see healthcare providers, insurers, distributors, medical device OEMs, and pharmaceutical corporations.
Each of these entities has the ability to verify its own legitimacy.
Each corporation or healthcare provider can keep track of equipment and service transactions, contract logs, and payment settlements. Manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare groups can use these platforms to create more secure shared contracts.Contracts kept on blockchain ledgers invariably result in fewer payment, claim, and schedule conflicts.
Every year, over one million chargeback claims are filed between these companies due to fluctuating price structures.5% of claims result in long disputes, which are frequently resolved manually.
These smart contracts would also assist patients in terms of medical insurance arrangements. Providing easy access to digital data also aids insurance providers in improving health outcomes.
8. Preventing Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes use of blockchain for disease case-control and pandemic prevention.
In essence, the US company plans to use blockchain to timestamp documents in order to detect disease outbreaks in real time.
The CDC has purchased a surveillance system for public agencies that collects real-time patient and prescription data in a safe and accurate manner.Many massive healthcare system expenditures can be decreased with the adoption of blockchain technology, cutting overall health costs for everyone.