Blockchain is usually re-counted among the forms of a cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Other than being a method of payment, Blockchain can bear a broader range of benefits in the health industry. This post investigates the meaning of Blockchain and how it works in healthcare.
Blockchain technology is a spread out ledger that keeps track of all transactions taking place in various machines. But, it does not give room for backdated changes of records in its nature. Therefore, you are expected to make changes on the successive blocks for the maintenance of the transactions. By the use of this concept, people managing the records in respect to the users’ community at large controls the data through constant amendments and updates. The most overwhelming part is that this technology plays an essential role in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. It influences a multitude of industries besides the healthcare division.
Benefits of Blockchain in the Industry of Healthcare
The Blockchain era is in progress. Putting into consideration the sudden growth in the improvement of latest and more effective AI examination systems, wearable machines, and record systems for the healthcare subdivision, cryptography will soon be an essential aspect in the functionality of hospitals. Nevertheless, some corrections are yet to be done for the overall adoption of seamless Blockchain in the medical sector. Statistics from Hyper ledger’s survey indicate that 42.9 percent of firms presume that the compatibility of electronic health data will facilitate quick Blockchain application; with a respondent percentage of 28.6% willing to practice this concept in modern care settings.
• Data Integrity and Provenance
Due to the current rise in the number of patients, healthcare providers are obligated to handle a massive bulk of health data regularly. Clinics and hospitals find it hard to manage the processing and storage of this information as a result of a consecutive annual increase in data volume. Examples of information being handled by the healthcare segment include computerized health records, medical insurance claims, data fetched from IoT gadgets or monitoring tools and patient health information (PHI).
Blockchain enhances data integrity by securing the information being shared between healthcare sources and their entities. The recorded information is protected from further amendments or removal by encryption. A typical approach that permits the security of the registered and shared information is the case of a public Blockchain. Here, evidence of data reliability is generated for ease of verification timestamp.
• Additional Safe Principles
Blockchain gives a further secure means of data protection that is better than standard encryption. By this current concept, you can implement new values in the handling of the medical records, PHI, and insurance claims. When applying Blockchain, intermediation is not part of the data being shared. Much on the implementation of Blockchain in the segment of healthcare and the awareness of the benefits of cryptography are offered by consortiums like Hyperledger. The Hyperledger’s survey indicates that medical firms delay putting Blockchain into practice due to the scarcity of knowledge in this concept. A small fraction of respondents is still learning and exploring. Medical providers presume that this concept should pass some milestones for it to be adopted.
• Data Transparency
Medical providers classify transparency as a top benefit of Blockchain in the sector of healthcare. This concept gives a distributed ownership register by keeping a record of all activities transacted in the scheme. It preserves all details beginning from the conception of a block to the transaction digits. The system checks whether the Blockchain versions match the network before executing any transaction. Therefore, each member of the Blockchain community can always detect the identity of a specific data block.
The Application of Blockchain in the Sector of Healthcare
Caregivers have a higher feeling of optimism on quick implementation of Blockchain. 37.9% predict that medical organizations will only take a maximum of 5 years to implement this technology. In the interim, these professionals and organizations require Blockchain examples and its foreseen benefits in their industry. Below are sample instances of Blockchain usage in healthcare with a description of current issues and potential solutions.
Problem: Traceability of Drugs
The issue of fake drugs is the leading challenge in pharmacology. Research reveals that about 10-30 percent of the prescriptions in developing nations are counterfeit. The US business loses roughly 200 billion dollars on medication faking annually.
Blockchain guarantees higher chances of identifying fraudulent dealers of drugs because the technology is immutable and time stamped. The two types of Blockchain include public and private. Healthcare companies with an implemented Blockchain system can achieve the quality and authenticity of their drugs by registering their products. The central entities manage private Blockchain hence the authenticity of drugs is enhanced by the free accessibility of distributors to the drug Blockchain. The Blockchain records the operational data once the medicine is transferred from the producer to the seller thus verifying the entire channel of the medication.
Problem: Security of Data obtained from Clinical Tests
Clinical tests determine the efficiency of a specific drug in the treatment of a particular disease. These trials can either support or negate an existing hypothesis. Much of the information is recorded by the researchers in the course of the clinical examinations. The data obtained is hidden to alter the entire results of the study conducted. However, criminals strive to record the outcomes that are useful for them, whether the data coincides with reality or not.
Blockchain concept permits users to give a proof of the documents’ authenticity as the system has registered. It provides the evidence of existence through the addition of data as a transaction and the information approval by entire nodes of the network. As mentioned earlier, Blockchain keeps a record of immutable data hence stores outcome from clinical tests securely preventing any further modification.
Problem: Management of the Patients’ Data.
The "HIPAA" regulates the privacy of patients’ data. This data needs PHI for total security. But, patients may be required to reveal their healthcare records to the third parties. This is a PHI related issue. So, why does partial access contradict Blockchain data protection similarly?
Blockchain develops a hash for the ID of a patient. By use of an API, included organizations can get the information they require without disclosing the identity of the patient. Likewise, a patient has a choice to pick on the type of access and the person to share their healthcare records.
Blockchain technology is very beneficial to the healthcare sector. It is useful for cost and time saving, transparency, and the active logging of transactions. Adoption of this technology by healthcare providers guarantees maximum security and protection of data. Besides, Blockchain promotes advancement in medical research and correct medicine in the achievement of better healthcare services.