“If you’re a healthcare professional, healthcare startup, or an individual interested in leveraging the benefits of Blockchain technology, this article will reveal top 3 benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare sector and how it will change the entire industry.”
How beneficial would it be if you can have the full history of your health? What if all medicines you’ve taken, information about every doctor’s visit, operations, and illness could be captured accurately and efficiently? This is what Blockchain in the healthcare industry could do exceedingly well.
With blockchain healthcare applications, the quality of healthcare is predicted to rise, and the risks and costs are likely to go down. And as you probably know that data stored on blockchains can be shared in real time across a group of people or institutions, so each event or transaction is time-stamped as a permanent record, which cannot be tampered.
On permissionless blockchains, each individual can view all records. And on permissioned blockchains, privacy can be maintained by an agreement that which parties can view the agreement, by masking the identity of the party.
Regardless, many healthcare organizations are moving fast and even seem to have a lead for blockchain in healthcare. Recently, IBM conducted a blockchain study where they surveyed 200 healthcare executives from 16 countries and found that; 16% of them aren’t just experimenting, but they expect to build commercial blockchain applications by the end of 2017.
In fact, they’re leading the charge with real-time blockchain applications with which they expect to take down the frictions holding them back. They are well-focused on accessing new and trusted information that they can keep secure, safe, and enter new markets as well.
However, despite the current euphoria, let’s understand the real benefits of blockchain in the healthcare industry.
1: Smooth Health Data Exchange and Interoperability:
When we hear about the term Blockchain in Healthcare, data exchange is usually the first topic pops up in the head. However, the blockchain-enabled Health IT systems can provide technological solutions to many challenges, including health data security, integrity, and interoperability.
Most importantly, Blockchain technology could enable the health data exchange systems that are irrevocable and cryptographically secured. And this would ultimately enable seamless access to real-time patient health data and eliminate the cost and burden of data reconciliation.
Recently, Guardtime, the data-centric security company, has partnered with Estonian eHealth Foundation to secure the health data of over one million Estonian citizens using KSI (Keyless Signature Infrastructure). Now, this is a good example of the use of Blockchain in Healthcare sector.
2: Transparent Billing Management:
Even in this digital era, 5-10% of healthcare costs are fraud, resulting from billing unperformed services. In the U.S. alone, medicare fraud caused around $30 million in losses in 2016. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice charged three individuals for $1 billion medicare fraud and money laundering scheme.
But, with blockchain applications and systems, it is now possible to provide realistic solutions to minimize these kinds of frauds. By automating the bill processing activities, Blockchain Technology could help to remove the need for intermediaries and decrease the administrative costs.
3: Drug Supply Chain Source and Integrity:
Presently, the pharmaceutical companies incur an annual loss of $200 billion because of the counterfeit drugs. However, a Blockchain based system could make sure a chain-of-custody log, tracking every step of supply chain at the individual product level.
Furthermore, private keys and smart contracts can help to build a proof of ownership of drug source at any point in the supply chain.
For instance, iSolve LLC is working with many pharma companies to implement Advanced Digital Ledger Technology (ADLT) blockchain healthcare application to help manage drug supply chain integrity.
In fact, our Blockchain developers are also in the process of developing blockchain applications for healthcare sector that can ensure health data security and interoperability to make the process smooth and transparent.
FivePharma is a healthcare application developed by Space-O that reinvented the way of offering auditing, training and consulting services in Healthcare sector. Today, the app is updated every month and focusing on enhancing the pharmaceutical industry for the better.
Now with the Blockchain Technology, healthcare startups like FivePharma are on their way to bring the next disruption. And as far as drug supply chain is concerned, Companies can streamline the entire process of updating supply chain log with Blockchain Technology.
Here’s how it is possible:
source: Anca Petre
And apart from this, there are technical advantages as well.
Technical Advantages of Blockchain in Healthcare
Blockchain Technology is based on open-source software, commodity hardware, and open API. the Blockchain architecture has in-built fault tolerance, data encryption, and cryptography technologies which as widely used and accepted as industry standards. And due to these capabilities, the health IT systems could become easy to work with and eliminate the need for developing complex point-to-point data integration systems.
Moreover, data from cheap smartphones and wearables are growing rapidly. And these data is distributed across many servers at many different locations, meaning there is no single point of failure. Due to this huge advantage, the healthcare Blockchain professionals and startups are actively looking for ideas and blockchain developers to build next-generation blockchain applications for the healthcare sector.
And since Blockchain and healthcare definitely has a place in the health IT systems, one should consider re-basing their interoperability strategy on Blockchain in order to gain leadership in upcoming years for the healthcare sector.