From smart hospitals to Artificial Intelligence-enabled health solutions, the healthcare industry is experiencing a significant paradigm shift. While the industry has made progressions in diagnosis and patient care, creating a secure, unified healthcare system still takes the back seat.
The healthcare industry is facing a major setback. The scattered patient data across systems limits the accessibility of crucial patient information, making diagnosis difficult and also time-consuming for the doctors.
Data security breaches also highlight the system’s inefficiency in handling the exchange of information securely, which further prevents healthcare organizations from providing appropriate patient care and high-quality services. Amongst various new-age technologies, Blockchain is one of the promising ones, helping the industry in dealing with these challenges.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger-based system storing data that is shareable between connected database systems. By allowing access to real-time health information, the technology further eliminates the cost associated with data reconciliation.
The cryptographic, consensus algorithms and multi-participant validation system are the primary reasons various industries look forward to blockchain technologies regarding data security. While blockchain is being widely used in the financial services, healthcare is also exploring its possibility, and could soon be tapping into the enormous benefits of this technology in full scale.
For various issues the healthcare industry is facing, blockchain can be a possible solution.
- It can potentially disrupt current approaches to clinical services and patient care.
- It has the potential to improve R&D, speed up care, and reduce costs.
Blockchain in healthcare
Blockchain can enhance healthcare operations in some incredibly exciting ways and would certainly be a step in the right direction. As the industry is drowning in data—clinical trials, patient medical records, complex billing, and medical research, adoption and implementation of blockchain will be advancement over time.
1. Solving for interoperability
Blockchain’s interoperability serves as an alternative to health information exchanges (HIEs). The technology could underpin data exchange and would help healthcare providers, including clinical researchers and pharmacies in transmitting secure, real-time patient data.
2. Giving patients control of their data
With technology, it’s now possible to record nearly all the patient data and enable them to take control of it. Each of the transactions can be recorded on a blockchain, enabling the patients to maintain a complete audit trail of every doctor, medical device, health information, etc. This access will further benefit in diagnosis and treatment.
3. Accelerating R&D
Research and development are considered to be one of the major disciplines in healthcare. With blockchain, it will be easy to streamline the R&D processes, making it more cost-effective. Since this technology can help store all data in an easily accessible infrastructure, the collected medical data will be reliable and verified.