October 31st, 2019 | Updated on June 17th, 2020
Over the past few years, a lot of technologies have come up, and offered a certain level of advancement to the different industries.
Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have redefined how users connect with brands, and get some value.
Blockchain technology is soon joining the bandwagon. A lot of people got to know of this technology when bitcoin gained fame.
It was the initial coin offering technology, and for a long time it remained that way this technology is all set to redefine how we look at frauds, and how we prevent data stealing or manipulation.
What Changes With Blockchain?
Earlier, when the data was shared in the network, each person had their own version of the data.
The sender of the invoice had a different version than the vendor who received it. In case there weer mediators, then each of them would have a different set of data available.
This can lead to errors, and fraud. In fact, the different set of data gives way to manipulation. If you want to avoid the same, you need to create a single version, which can be accessed by everyone.
This version allows you to ensure that no particular person can change without the knowledge of others in the chain.
You will need to provide access to edit, in case you feel one or more people can make changes within the chain.
In the case of records or transactions, you will see that Blockchain will not allow you to eliminate them, thus ensuring perfect availability of all the aspects.
With such amazing benefits that you get with Blockchain, it becomes imperative for this technology to be a part of the healthcare industry.
The main reason being it offers more security, and unwarranted trust at all levels, thus protecting the data and the people involved in this industry. Let’s take a look at how blockchain can redefine healthcare industry, and why it should be adopted.
1. Accessibility To Healthcare Data
In the healthcare industry, the most important, as well as, most crucial part is the patient data. Manipulation of data leads to errors, which also leads to eventual issues with diagnosis and treatment. However, it is not always true that healthcare data is accessible.
In some cases, there is too much data for a single patient, and the historical records as well, which leads to confusion.
You don’t even know which doctor the patient was consulting in the past, and other details. With Blockchain, accessibility of the patient data is no longer an issue.
First, when the data is stored in Blockchain, it is secure and permanent. Chances of manipulation of the data are fewer, which results in greater benefits for the data owner.
Apart from security, the accessibility and interoperability of the data is high. This simply means, you can easily get two sets of data from the same patient, and derive the issues with ease.
You don’t need to analyse or work through the data on your own. The workflow is immutable and trusted, which results in a single source of the data.
Apart from data being easy to manage and access, Blockchain also ensures better administrative capabilities.
2. Better Ability To Manage Cybersecurity Challenges
Healthcare industry is known for adhering to the strict compliances.
However, if you have been paying close attention to the digital signals in healthcare, you will notice that there is a huge concern revolving around cybersecurity.
The data breaches and other security issues have led to concerns surrounding the incorporation of digital technology in healthcare.
The idea of secure and trusted healthcare system is the need of the hour, and Blockchain seems to be the answer for this need.
There are too many connected devices operating in this segment, which help achieve the data required, and work upon it to devise the results.
This technology works with cryptographic techniques, which tend to record all the digital events, and minimize the security threats on the system.
Your HIT systems and other connected devices are secure as a result. The medical devices, as well as the companies operating in this industry can work upon delivering a more secure strategy as a result.
3. Improve The Precision In Pharma Companies
The pharma companies have a lot to gain from Blockchain technology. In fact, you will see a tremendous growth and a level of understanding in the pharma companies and their produce when you incorporate Blockchain technology.
It will help justify the new products that are going out, and why there is a need for these products. It will also help companies reduce costs, where needed, and help improve the quality of the products.
In some cases, the medicines can affect the health of the patients, and put them at risk. This can be avoided if you use the Blockchain technology. The tracing methods will tell when the medicines were manufactured, and what is the exact expiry date.
It will not allow the intermediaries to change the dates, as needed. The tampering of the drug dates, and other things can be avoided with Blockchain technology, making it possible to reduce risks and frauds, and improve the image of the pharma companies.
4. Defining Better Treatment Models
Predictive analysis is the core for all industries in the present times. If you are not preventive and predictive in your methods, you may not be able to survive for long.
Blockchain will make patient care, not only responsive and accessible, but also predictive and preventive.
The aim is to make affordable and custom treatment models that bring down the healthcare costs tremendously, thus making it available for everyone.
The healthcare workflows will be automated, and the Blockchain ledger will introduce cost-effective relationships, which can be tracked and trading can be completed in the virtual environment.
The outcome based care and delivery methods will redefine healthcare completely, as a result. We have discussed the opportunities that Blockchain will give the healthcare industry.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of incorporating Blockchain, before signing off.
Benefits Of Blockchain In Healthcare
- The patient records will not be diversified anymore. In fact, they will be compiled into a single repository in a way that it is easy to identify the issues, the diagnosis and reduce the errors. You will get a complete idea into the patient’s history and the issues they are facing
- The EHRs all possess different ways of managing the data, and their schematics are also completely different. As a result, it becomes easier for you to manipulate the data, and difficult to identify the right data in the sheet. With Blockchain, despite the different addresses and keys to the data, the patient identification will not be duplicated
- Blockchain will help with supply chain management, in a way that it improves the overall efficiency. You can have a look at the entire lifecycle of the products in healthcare, know if the supply chain contract was successful, and understand the demand and delays for the product
Interoperability proved to be the biggest challenge in healthcare industry, which can be eliminated with the implementation of Blockchain technology.
The technical infrastructure and the willingness of the people in the healthcare industry will determine the road ahead for this technology.
Though the uptake for the technology is slow, it will take the industry by storm when implemented, and provide all the security it requires with thoroughness.
It is now time that the industry and the stakeholders understand the importance, and start planning for the enterprise solutions for the healthcare industry.