Blockchain in Healthcare: What Is It About?
Blockchain technology can resolve many issues that the medical industry encounters. These issues relate to various categories such as medical data (security, accessibility, & interoperability), medical research, clinical trials, healthcare supply chain, and drug integrity. All the issues mentioned above create chaos even in the top healthcare companies. Blockchain is capable of disrupting the healthcare sector. Its ability to provide unprecedented data efficiency is a prime factor. Besides, Blockchain ensures universal data access, interconnection, security, and transparency.
What are the Hurdles in the Current Healthcare System?
Currently, most medical institutions use outdated and inconvenient methods for handling medical data. This includes various e-health records, prescription drug data, insurance information, patient medical data. Improper data handling impacts patient treatment, as well as the speed of said treatment. The situation gets worse by the fact that most medical facilities in the health care sector have their own methods to store and access medical information.
These practices lack transparency between patients, medical facilities, and insurance providers. They open up a window for severe and deadly medical errors. These errors lead to the causes of deaths of many patients across the globe.
Implementation of Blockchain in Healthcare
Blockchain technology has the potential to bring out a massive breakthrough in the healthcare ecosystem. It can quickly add specific changes in managing a patient’s healthcare data. With the aid of this tech, the power will lay in the people’s hands.
It means that the individuals will be responsible for handling their records; thus, getting the overall control of their data. Blockchain holds the ability to enhance patients’ care quality successfully; while maintaining the cost at an affordable rate. All the challenges and obstacles that occur in multi-level authentication can be waived off through Blockchain. Though the adoption rate is increasing, Blockchain has made its way to the healthcare sector. Even in its beginning stage, the technology is being positively accepted by people in the healthcare ecosystem.
Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare
The use of Blockchain technology in healthcare can make a world of difference for data management. The tech can make the exchange of medical data more efficient, secure, and transparent across the health care sector as a whole. Appropriate medical data management is one of the crucial advantages of Blockchain and healthcare. Many issues affecting the healthcare industry, such as interoperability, data completion, fraud, and even data loss during a disaster, can be eliminated.
1. Blockchain Provides a Distributed Ledger
The first factor to note is that blockchain technology allows for a full ledger of patient care. Let’s assume a patient visits a hospital in a different region. During that visit, their information can be shared in the ledger by their doctor/physician. When that particular patient leaves a care provider, it would be easy for them to have a followup appointment scheduled for, when they return home where the primary care physician is located.
2. Blockchain Stores Data in a Secure Way
Security is one of the top considerations in the healthcare sector. And the nature of blockchain shields the data makes it highly secure. Therefore, companies that are incorporating blockchain technology, retain the advantage of secure systems that safeguards the patient’s data in the right manner.
3. Blockchain Gives Complete Control to Patients
With the Distributed Ledger Technology, patients could potentially set their own rules on how their records are handled and shared. This function is limited in current healthcare data handling. For instance, a patient can customize their current list of medications accessible to every provider. Hence, they do not need to carry their list of drugs along.
Limitations of Blockchain in Healthcare
Until now, the real limitations of blockchain technology lack when we consider the advantages it offers. There is one significant limitation to consider in the blockchain tech:
“Blockchain technology on its own is not potent enough to create a fully-functioning EHR Electronic Healthcare Record solution.”
The primary limitation arises with pairing specific crypto-backed blockchain with healthcare processes. Cryptocurrency blockchains have this anonymity by nature. It’s because the actual name or identity of a payer or payee never has to be revealed. For instance, someone using Bitcoin or any other digital currency is not bound to reveal their true identity when a transaction is taking place. Healthcare blockchains cannot exist with this much anonymity; a patient’s name or identity will have to be disclosed during a transaction. Also, during the transfer of patient data to other providers, an ID needs to be revealed. Thus, there is a state of conflict that exists here. It is “how blockchain technology is meant to function and how it would have to operate in healthcare environments.”
The Conclusion Is
Blockchain technology is evolving consistently and stepping its way into a lot of everyday processes. This powerful tech could potentially revolutionize many processes of healthcare, and the ongoing implementation is proving that fact. Some companies are already experimenting with blockchain technology in the medical care environment. But the number of companies doing so are bound to grow in the coming years. The final thought is this: blockchain technology could very well make drastic improvements in healthcare. Therefore, it is well worth it to talk to a managed IT services provider to find out how blockchain technology could be used in your healthcare business.