Healthcare has been dealing with data breaches, rising hospital costs, inefficient practices, and other problems for years. These issues can be very costly and show the need for more efficiency and innovation within the healthcare industry.
Is Blockchain is the new buzzword in healthcare?
Blockchain technology has the potential to improve healthcare. Blockchain technology can help with everything from managing large-scale pandemics, to the storage and security of patient data. Because blockchain technology is decentralized and tamper-resistant, it can address many healthcare issues.
Because they enable automatic updating and sharing of individual patient’s medical data, electronic health records are increasingly popular in healthcare systems.
Their scope is restricted to information sharing within an organization or network of organizations. This information can be organized using blockchain technology so that no personally identifiable information is on the topmost layer.
Researchers and other organizations would have access to the vast data pool, which includes millions of patients. Access to such vast amounts of data could greatly facilitate clinical research, public health reporting, adverse event identification, and reporting.
This is why students at universities across the Caribbean are encouraged to learn about this technology.
Securing the Patient Data
Over 176 million data breaches related to healthcare records occurred between 2009 and 2017. One of the most important applications of blockchain technology to healthcare records and medical data security is the securing of that data.
Data breaches are a common problem in the healthcare industry. Credit card and banking information are often the targets of data breaches. However, information can also be obtained from medical records, including genetic records.
There is a dire need to protect the integrity of sensitive patient data.
Security applications would greatly benefit from blockchain’s ability to keep an incorruptible and transparent log of all patient data. Not to mention, blockchain technology is as private as it is transparent, and can successfully conceal the identity of any individual with the help of complex and unimpeachable codes.
Blockchain technology maintains a decentralized log of sensitive patient data.
Blockchain allows healthcare providers, doctors, and patients to share information in a secure and efficient way. BurstIQ’s blockchain technology allows the company to improve how medical information is shared and used according to strict HIPAA regulations.
They can stop prescription drug abuse by keeping an accurate and up-to-date record of every patient.
Chains of supply for vaccines
Blockchain technology could be the answer to the difficult process of global vaccine distribution. It can also bring trust and efficiency into the supply chain process.
This burgeoning technology can optimize vaccine allocation by providing a real-time, accurate inventory view. This technology has the greatest potential to reduce fraud in vaccine supply distribution.
According to CDC, almost 30% of all vaccines produced in developing countries are counterfeit — (not speaking of the current COVID-19 vaccine).
This is why vaccine distributors are turning to blockchain technology to secure an irreplaceable digital identifier that can be linked to every medicine or vaccine most at risk of fraud.
It should be difficult to transfer or clone the identifier between objects. Markers such as branding on pills or fabric patterns can be used to prove authenticity and keep the supply chain secure.
Chronicled, for example, keeps track of chain custody via blockchain networks. These networks are used by pharmaceutical companies to ensure that their medicines arrive safely and raise alarms about any suspicious activity, such as drug trafficking.
Smooth Switching between Providers
Blockchain technology would allow patients to share and unlock their health information with other providers and organizations. A shareable private key could allow access to the information on the blockchain.
This could allow for health information technology collaboration between different users.
Advancement in Genomics
Genomics has enormous potential to improve the future health of humans. Blockchain technology has made it possible to realize what was once an impossible dream.
The cost of processing a human genome used to be over 1 billion dollars, but it now costs just $1000.
Many companies offer DNA testing that can reveal clues about our health. Blockchain is a great addition to the field of genomics because it can store billions of genetic information points securely and safely.
In the past, pharmaceutical and biotech companies spent billions of dollars annually to acquire genetic data from third parties. Companies can now incentivize users, knowing that their data is secure, to sell their encrypted genetic information to this large pool.
This valuable Genomics data can be accessed faster by scientists than ever before.
Nebula Genomics, for example, uses blockchain technology to simplify the study of genetics. For better predictive modeling, companies can share their genomic and medical data with a global network of scientists.
Avoidable mistakes in healthcare
Healthcare industry can be hurt by miscommunications between doctors. Accessing a patient’s medical records can be difficult and time-consuming. This can cause delays in quality care or drain staff.
Because blockchain-based medical records are decentralized, they can be easily accessed by pharmacies, hospitals, laboratory technicians, public health officials, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.
Blockchain technology automates administrative processes and speeds up diagnosis. It also helps healthcare organizations create personalized care plans. Access to relevant medical information is openly available and allows for better coordination among healthcare professionals. This helps accelerate care.
Many tech-savvy businesses are using blockchain medical records to create shared databases.
SimplyVital, for example, uses blockchain technology to create an open-source database that allows healthcare providers to access patient information and coordinate their care.
Smart contracts for supply chain settlements and insurance
Blockchain-based systems are becoming more common in the healthcare sector and bring together many players in the industry. Healthcare providers, wholesalers and medical device OEMs are all now under one roof.
Each entity can verify its credibility.
Every company and healthcare provider can log equipment and service transactions, log contracts and track payment settlements. These systems make it easier to create secure shared contracts among manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare providers.
Blockchain ledgers are a great way to store contracts and reduce disputes about claims, payments, and schedules.
These companies receive more than one million chargebacks each year due to their fluctuating pricing structures. Five percent of all claims end in long disputes that often require manual resolution.
Smart contracts could also be beneficial to patients when it comes to medical insurance contracts. Insurance providers can optimize their health outcomes by making digital data accessible.
Prevention of Disease
Blockchain-related use case control and prevention of pandemics and diseases is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses.
The U.S. entity tracks blockchain usage to timestamp records in order to detect outbreaks of disease in real-time.
The surveillance system that the CDC acquired for public agencies allows them to safely and accurately collect real-time prescription and patient data.
Blockchain technology can reduce many huge healthcare system costs, lowering overall health costs.
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