Modernizing Healthcare Infrastructure
Counterfeiting pharmaceuticals is a major problem in the healthcare system. Unfortunately, fraud and manipulation are common in healthcare since supply chains are poorly documented. The entire supply chain can have to be seen from beginning to end. Blockchain technology is the best solution to the problem of fake drugs because it makes systems clear and keeps data accurate, along with other advantages.
In a nutshell, blockchain has the potential to benefit digital health by facilitating the secure, consent-based sharing of data across widely disparate healthcare systems.
Do you know
By 2028, the global market for healthcare applications of blockchain technology could be worth $5.3 billion.
Healthcare and the Blockchain
Distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, is a database shared across many computers. The system's purpose is to archive and transmit digital data. Because of the technology, the data will be stored safely and cannot be changed, deleted, hacked, or otherwise compromised. Because of this, blockchain is well suited for financial, logistical, production, and other systems that aggregate data from multiple sources and make it available to all users on the network.
Keep reading about the most common ways blockchain technology is used in healthcare.
Blockchain Use Case in Healthcare
1. Transparency in the supply chain
Fake pharmaceuticals are a global health crisis. The World Health Organization believes that one in ten medical products, including medicines and diagnostic gadgets, is poor or counterfeit. The situation will only worsen as the drug supply chain becomes more intricate.
The pharmaceutical industry relies on the efforts of many people, including researchers, factories, device makers, and service providers. Although several organizations and entities contribute to creating a single medicine, they rarely share information. The problem is that they need help understanding one another.
Since blockchain transactions are kept in chronological, verified, and immutable order, the technology can be fully employed in a medicine labeling system. Pharmaceutical and medical technology firms trace the movement of raw materials and components at every stage of the supply chain to the organization or patient. Data can be added to the blockchain either manually by suppliers or automatically by internet-connected (IoT) sensors.
2. Smart contracts
Smart contracts are computer programs that carry out their terms autonomously based on the information given to them by reliable third parties. The capacity to conduct transactions in decentralized operations is their primary utility.
One of the most common applications of smart contracts is in healthcare, and this technology might be used to improve insurance procedures by addressing some of the problems caused by older systems. When a patient uses a smart contract to obtain insurance, all their policy information is added to their profile and stored on the blockchain, making it nearly impossible to hack.
By cutting out the need for third parties, smart contracts will also speed up the process of confirming that insurance criteria are met.
3. Remote monitoring with IoT and Blockchain
Blockchain is often used in the medical and health industries through IoT-based remote monitoring solutions (IoT). In particular, they employ many sensors to monitor patients' health continuously and record their vital indicators. As a result, the treatment process becomes more efficient, the stress on medical staff decreases, and hazards related to the human component are eliminated.
However, solutions based on low-quality IoT gadgets cannot be relied upon. Therefore, it is critical to make these blockchain healthcare apps robust to DDoS attacks, virus software, radio signal transmission disruptions, etc., to prevent improper operation of such systems.
Read more on IoT in Healthcare
4. Medical personal verification
Blockchain can be used to register and verify the authenticity of employees' data of medical institutions and healthcare organizations, in addition to tracking drugs and equipment.
Particularly, the blockchain streamlines the process of hiring new employees and lessens the likelihood of making a bad hire. In particular, the acquired guarantees on staff credentials simplify the certification process for new and existing employees, protect the loyalty of patients and partners, and boost competitiveness.
5. Electronic health records (EHR)
Patients need access to their medical records, including past procedures and test results, using electronic health record systems. Furthermore, the information is typically presented in a format that makes it challenging to distribute. Because of this, patients often repeat themselves to their doctors and nurses.
Furthermore, patients do not have legal ownership of their medical records, which creates complications when they need to switch healthcare providers or port their data to a new medical device.
Blockchain-based healthcare solutions eliminate these issues by centralizing and standardizing this data. In addition, blockchain ensures that all records are kept in chronological order, which is crucial for healthcare records. As a result, you won't have to worry about any private information getting out, and you'll save a ton of time.
"Blockchain Unleashed" Podcast: Uncover the Future of Innovation with Sunil Bafna!
Streaming now on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple.
Subscribe to listen to insightful discussion! Don't miss it
Benefits of Using Blockchain in Healthcare
Find out what this technology can do for healthcare entrepreneurs.
Data stored in a blockchain cannot be removed or altered after it has been recorded. This is a crucial part of tracking system organization, for instance, distributing donor biomaterials or pharmaceuticals.
If you spend most of your IT budget on maintaining an outdated system or spend tens of thousands of dollars on cost-cutting efforts that only significantly boost your company's profitability, blockchain technology is something to think about. To that aim, this IT may affect primary cost drivers across the board, from supply chain management to patient billing.
Public health and medical organizations that work with foreign partners, providers, and suppliers may find blockchain's real-time transactions particularly helpful.
Strengthening the Customer Experience
The blockchain also optimizes time-sensitive data recording, storage, and processing. In addition, because this information is consistent, clients can have faith in the openness of all the processes you oversee.
Blockchain's Healthcare Challenges
However, there are several issues with applying blockchain technology to healthcare and medicine. The results are presented below.
Inadequate processing speed and huge data duplication are two of the most pressing technical challenges for the healthcare industry. Thankfully, these problems are amenable to algorithms based on artificial intelligence. Existing enterprise software will likely need to improve with the proposed blockchain solution.
In addition, there is still some uncertainty over who owns the information recorded in a blockchain, which presents another challenge for widespread blockchain adoption. To a greater extent, this is true for public blockchains. Thankfully, many nations have passed laws that define this more clearly.
Maintaining GDPR and HIPAA compliance
HIPAA and GDPR privacy regulations are relevant to private blockchain systems in the healthcare industry. Given that all data saved on the blockchain cannot be removed or changed, complying with them is highly challenging (but feasible).
Now, where do you begin with implementing blockchain technology in healthcare? In reality, however, the most important procedures that will require reengineering with the aid of blockchain are:
- the streamlining of supply chains and logistics
- the development of electronic medical records
- the quickening of transactions
- the construction of trustworthy data storage systems
All these blockchain-based medical procedures can be easily incorporated into the programs you now use (for example, CRM, ERP, and other systems).
Today's healthcare system needs the right channels for sharing patient information. To this end, the blockchain introduces novel ways of thinking about the storage and administration of data in the numerous digital healthcare systems already in use. The use of blockchain technology opens up new possibilities for streamlining processes, facilitating trustless cooperation, and producing immutable and secure data. All of this is possible because of the revolutionary new ways blockchain technology allows for data separation, transfer, and protection.