Blockchain is going to prove itself as a game-changer technology as it is expected to alter the complete landscape of how business is done. Many people have heard a lot about the blockchain in frames of a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin; however, it can have a much wider use than a simple payment method, including various industries like supply chain management, healthcare etc. Managing and securing data within healthcare and supply chain management are likely to be highly impacted by the blockchain adoption. Let’s look into it to understand how:
- Altering Traditional Healthcare Models: Blockchain has the potential to propel innovation in preventative care and community-based healthcare models. The capacity of a distributed ledger technology for ensuring data integrity while sharing between parties can ensure collaboration between rising trends in healthcare, which are vital to the improvement of health in communities worldwide.
- Provides Higher Level of Integrity for Healthcare Information: Blockchain can tie together a complex team-based healthcare, finance and payment with the care provided along with it. The inherent properties of cryptographic public and private key access, proof of work and distributed data, creates a new level of integrity for healthcare information.
- Allows Easier Tracking of Drugs: Blockchain technology also makes it easy to track a drug as it moves from the manufacturer to the patient. This improves the traceability of a drug as it moves across the supply chain, and helps prevent drug counterfeiting.
- Offers Frictionless Connectivity: Blockchain provides frictionless connectivity, strengthened by smart contracts and authorization to access all electronic health data. Its transaction layer can enable instantaneous access to a diverse set of standardized, anonymous and non-patient identifiable information. Transparency and automation can also lead to higher efficiency and lower administration costs. It is a phased approach rather than an instant overhaul of systems, and hence is suited to healthcare sector.
- Educates Healthcare Industry on Security: In the current system, security and trust are the most common concerns shared by businesses regarding the information shared between different entities. Information can be entered anywhere along the line of communication and this leads to trust issues, especially in the healthcare industry. There are also concerns where multiple vendors hold different versions of the same patient record that are not validated, resulting in various errors, inconsistency and incompleteness. Add to that reports of security breaches, tampering of personal data and the ever-present hacking threat, it’s not surprising healthcare officials are concerned. Since blockchains are cryptographically secure and the data present therein can be authenticated using digital signature that are unique to each person, this technology could be the answer to most of these concerns.
Preparing Healthcare Sector for the Future
The healthcare industry is on the verge of disruption in its digital infrastructure. The current system does not fully support the security or interoperability that is inherently necessary. To utilize collected medical data to its maximum potential, data portability and interoperability of records between systems is a must. With the advent of wearables and numerous new IoT devices that are interconnected with their data flows harnessed, better security is needed and readily accessible to healthcare professionals. All these challenges could be minimized with the help of blockchain technology and its interoperability, integrity and security, and portable user-owned data.