What Advancements Blockchain is Bringing In the Healthcare Sector? If you have heard of Blockchain, just right click on your brain and delete it! Forget everything about Bitcoin that it has to do with Blockchain and think about Blockchain’s underlying technology. Blockchain technology in the healthcare market is said to reach $1.6 Billion by 2025. Various hospitals and organizations are using this technology to record, analyze, and monitor patient data. But, is it capable enough to reduce Physician Burnout! Or, is it really going to replace traditional healthcare and make it efficient! Sorry for the spoiler, “Yes, it is.” Blockchain is a distributed ledger that is owned by everyone but by no one! One that is surveilled by everyone but by no one! And it is one that is accessed by everyone, and everyone can contribute to the information they can share with others. In simple words, this lucrative buzzword is like a spreadsheet of shared data among different computer systems. Every time a change is made, it gets updated, and everyone can see that change. So, Blockchain is a distributed ledger over a peer-to-peer network of computers, and the users can see all the recorded changes.
These changes are known as smart contracts, which are computer protocols that help to prevent third-party interruptions during business collaboration. But you might be thinking about how the data will get secured! It is the encryption of the records that helps to maintain security. Each of the units(Records/Block) is connected to the previous and subsequent unit, and to change a single block, you need to change all the records. These nodes are known as miners, and the process of validating transactions is called Blockchain mining. It ensures that whenever a transaction is proposed, it is authentic and verified. After the validation, the valid transaction is added to a block. These nodes are known as miners, and the process of validating transactions is called Blockchain mining. It ensures that whenever a transaction is proposed, it is authentic and verified. After the validation, the valid transaction is added to a block. Leave the concepts behind, and take a look at the advancements that Blockchain is providing to the healthcare industry.
How Blockchain Technology in the Healthcare Industry is a Perfect Fit? The use of Blockchain in healthcare provides data access to everyone who is part of the decentralized system. It removes the necessity of the middleman that delays the process of health management and increases the time and cost. It opens a new way for all the collaborators in the ecosystem to access the same data to work and view. All the changes done by a single person can be seen by each stakeholder of the system. The ecosystem of Blockchain and healthcare offers security, distribution, interoperability, and immutability. All these features together puzzle out a lot of healthcare complications. Healthcare Industry Challenges that Blockchain Solves •Lack of Patient’s Medical Information Insufficiency of the patient’s information can hinder medical care. The handover of clinical data is crucial for healthcare that ensures the continuity of the care. Only 24% of chronic disease patients are able to convey all the previous records and medical prescriptions when they visit a new physician. It increases the time for treatment and also burns holes in the patient’s pocket.
Using the Blockchain technology in healthcare, clinical handover becomes easy as all the patient’s previous treatment and recommendations get saved over the distributed network, and become accessible from a single place. It makes the disease management easy and reduces the time & cost for the treatment. •Interoperability of Health Records EHR(Electronic Health Records) opens the way of interoperability of health records between different EHR systems. It makes the treatment easier for doctors and makes the move-in & move-out to different medical facilities facile for patients. The use of Blockchain in healthcare offers a distributed information network that removes the waiting time that conventional information sharing will take. As a result, better information sharing of patient health records without wasting crucial time. •EMR & PHR Flaws All the medical data of EMR & PHR gets stored on a centralized system that increases the risk of hacking or data modification. They also create some other issues like confidentiality, privacy concerns, interoperability, security issues, policy, inadequate internet access, etc. For removing the vulnerability of a centralized system, Blockchain technology in healthcare stores the information on multiple nodes. Being an encrypted and distributed system it removes all the security concerns and eliminates third-party modification and other barriers.
•Patient-Generated Health Data Even though it is easy to collect organizational or clinical patient data, gathering patient- generated health data(PGHD) is not that easy. This data gets generated using personal healthcare devices, medical IoT devices, wearables, lifestyle choices, from biometrics, etc. Blockchain technology in healthcare can amalgamate the data from these devices and personal lifestyles to create valuable insights for better health, well-being, and improvised health outcomes. •Counterfeit Drug Problems According to Financial time, 30% of the drugs currently in the market are sham. Counterfeit drugs & devices with no value cost money as well as the life of the consumers. These products are a big problem for the pharmaceutical industry, and as I’ve told you earlier, they can cost money as well as life. Blockchain is an authentic solution to compress all the information(Making, Ingredients, Distribution, and Exhibition or sales) about the drugs. It makes the flow of counterfeit drugs & medical resources impossible. •Cost-Efficient Solutions According to the BIS Report, Adoption of Blockchain technology in healthcare can even save up to $150 billion each year. It can eliminate multiple cost factors like frauds, IT, Counterfeit Drugs, Personnel & Operational costs, etc. Use Cases of Blockchain in Healthcare Industry •Clinical Research & Development Due to secure communication and traceability of the stored information, Blockchain is a great resource for clinical trials, research, data aggregation, and medicine development. In the current scenario of COVID-19, WHO has partnered with multiple companies and governments to create a Blockchain-powered multi-party, multi-source verifiable data- sharing platform, MiPasa. It makes the detection of COVID-19 carriers and hotspots easier and works on the information provided by state authorities, institutions, and private sources. •Patient Data Management & Verification Managing data in this centralized world is a complicated task. Most of the patients don’t keep their medical records, or it takes a lot of time and money to convey data from one EHR to another EHR.
The use of Blockchain in the healthcare industry can make the patient’s data easily accessible. Data remains secure and immutable using the encryptions, and all the verified users or organizations can view or work on this data. Using a Blockchain and healthcare ecosystem, your physician or you can retrieve your previous medical records with no bother. •Medical Staff Credential Verification The credentialing of medical staff plays a crucial role in the healthcare industry. There are multiple certificates, qualifications, and licenses that medical institutions provide to get verified for ensuring the credibility of the medical professionals. Collecting all the information from the institutions or the providers for credentialing the staff could take days of time, and it is even associated with the fraud. Blockchain helps the providers/health professionals to upload all the background information to hasten the credentialing process. •Supply Chain Management Somewhere down the line, all the industries rely on supply chain or logistics. Medical & Healthcare are also one of those relying-on industry verticals. Pharmaceutical products like drugs, medical devices are getting digitally marked using Blockchain to make them trackable.
When it comes to supply chain management, Blockchain helps to remove multiple blunders like automated purchasing & planning of goods, costing information, transaction settlement, shipping data, preventing compliance violations & product safety, reducing counterfeit goods, reducing human errors, etc. Real-Time Challenges that are Blocking Blockchain in Healthcare Some of the barriers that are blocking Blockchain from revolutionizing the healthcare industry: •Different Regions Different Compliance This is the major issue in the adoption of Blockchain technology in healthcare. Each region has a different set of guidelines or compliance like HIPAA, Hitech Act, PCI, etc. When no board is supporting your app idea or implementation of the Blockchain healthcare app, it becomes difficult. To keep your Blockchain healthcare apps compliance-friendly, try to maintain all the data in a form that your app is coherent to the compliance or regional health guidelines. •Scalability of Stored Data Another issue is scalability. Information stored over a block is immutable; it can’t be changed or get updated by the shareholders. It is kind of a bane and also boon at the same time. If any stakeholder has to update the data, then it restricts the scalability. To overcome this issue, healthcare data could be stored on the cloud, and pointers to that data can be stored on the Blockchain, with all their fingerprints. •Patient Engagement There are multiple barriers like trust issues, data security, and technology adoption, that restrict patient engagement. In a decentralized system, patient engagement or patient participation is really important. For removing this barrier, Blockchain technology in healthcare has to come up with Patient- friendly “app” ecosystems that can also manage public keys and permissions for patients. •Public or Permissioned! Whether patients need a Permissioned Blockchain or a public! Or who should get access! It’s always been a big question. As far as you’ve understood from this blog is a public blockchain that is open to everyone, and they can view or use the data.
But, the best-suited type for the healthcare industry is Permissioned. Here, you provide permission to open the information and see it. For making it more secure, taking the help of smart contracts to set permissions and accessing conditions can be beneficial. How to Give Blockchain Steroid to your Healthcare App? You can add a Blockchain feature in your app to make it unique and an excellent solution to healthcare. Blockchain technology in healthcare apps can solve various challenges affiliated with personal and patient care. Let’s explore the Blockchain addable features for your healthcare app: 1.Health Data Management to provide real-time information to the involved stakeholders for better health management. 2.Medical Research & Development to reduce medical errors and for the clinical trials and other medical researches. 3.Manage Bills & Claims using a Blockchain app that can help to manage all the medical claims, bills, medical records, etc. and can also help to protect yourself from frauds or medical thefts. As a Sum-Up, Blockchain technology in healthcare hasn’t reached that much as it has got with Bitcoin. But, within some years, it will be parallel to bitcoin and will bring the healthcare revolution. For being a part of this tech evolution, you can add these basic features
in your healthcare app, or you can try out custom Blockchain app development based on your requirement to deliver high-quality medical services and support to your consumers. Original Source: https://medium.com/@maryajames/what-advancements-blockchain-is-bringing- in-the-healthcare-sector-cd09788f9fae