A Blockchain is a universal online database storing transaction records that can be accessed by anyone anywhere. Blockchain technology supports digital currency. The digital information is distributed across the network but not duplicated. This means each individual piece of data belongs to a single owner. It is mostly described as a ‘digital ledger’.
As blockchain has multiple benefits, therefore, it has been adopted widely in the healthcare industry.
The key benefits include-
- Effective data tracking and powerful monitoring
- Transparent organized process
- Budget control and easy access
- Data Security
Thus the blockchain period has already begun. Taking into consideration the rapid progress in the healthcare sector, the development of wearable devices, healthcare record systems and medical examination systems implementing artificial intelligence, cryptography will play a vital role in the way the hospitals work. However, a few enhancements are required to implement the blockchain across the healthcare industry.
Opportunities in Healthcare Domain :
Blockchain will help redefine and rethink digital healthcare
As this new technology emerges, blockchain promises significant improvements in capturing and managing patient records. It secures data transfer across the networks so that the transactions happen smoothly and without interruption. Blockchain also supports new systems that meet the demanding set of rules for patient and healthcare data protection.
A new catalyst in the healthcare industry-wide interoperability
By introducing blockchain the members of the medical industry have a chance to benefit from the distributed ledger to access and exchange electronic healthcare details in a reliable way and without having to deal with the complex system.
Cost-effective and seamless access and exchange of information
Blockchain will enable a reduction in the overhead costs and give the engaging groups a higher incentive for the sustainable business case. In the case of processing real-time requests, a platform that is supported by blockchain will facilitate faster, secure and efficient transactions of the medical records that need to be exchanged between related parties.
Use of cryptography to increase data integrity and safer interoperability for overcoming the challenges of master-patient index
The master-patient index refers to the linking of the health records and the patient transactions having different identities as they communicate with various healthcare providers. However, this is becoming more complex and expensive day-by-day, therefore increasing threats like data selling, data leakage and involvement of fraudulent activities. Thus, blockchain can be of major help as it could leverage the cryptography to authenticate the patient identity and strengthen data probity. Licensed participants can interact among themselves by sharing the blockchain records by having the only privilege to add the transaction logs. The basic preliminary checks of encryption and verification are also ensured by blockchain. Hence, this provides strong data security, integrity and high standardized methods to manage the data.
Attainability of smart contracts that facilitate the exchange of information without the need of the intermediaries
A lot of overhead cost and complexity is involved in our healthcare system. Therefore by availing smart contracts, the technology aids the participants to rely on the contracts that are auto enforced when certain security conditions are attained. Blockchain also enables transparency among health payers, pharmacies, hospitals, insurers and the overall healthcare ecosystem.
Therefore, blockchain promises a revolutionary future for the healthcare and medicine industry.