As technology progresses, the world tries to catch up on its changes. Every institution of the society needs to evolve as well such as education, work, and healthcare. Everyone is expected to advance as technology advances because if not, you’ll never be able to enjoy the benefit of this wonderful invention called technology.
But in this article, we’ll focus on the potentials and opportunities of the Blockchain Technology application in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare industry is one of the most important institutions in our society. And quality healthcare is needed to ensure the patient’s health at a prime level. Because of this, the healthcare industry must find an innovative way to advance its equipment, facilities or even their system and service.
Blockchain Technology and The Healthcare Industry
So the question is:
Can Blockchain Technology be applied to the healthcare system and help the system become better?
To give you a better understanding of the Blockchain Technology, let us first define what it is. Blockchain technology is an open distributed ledger that tracks transactions and records throughout a network. All transactions recorded are permanently stored and can easily be accessed when needed.
There are three (3) principles behind the Blockchain technology that provides security and safety of all information:
- Private key cryptography
- Distributed ledgers
Blockchain technology could bring massive and positive changes in the healthcare system. With this aid, it could help the patients have their own control of their own records and data. But patients must be responsible enough to handle it.
But what positive impact can the blockchain technology bring to the healthcare industry?
One of the major problems in the healthcare industry is what we call “interoperability.” What is meant by Interoperability? It is the ability of health information systems to properly communicate or disseminate data all across organizational boundaries to effectively deliver outstanding healthcare for individuals and communities.”
The use of standards and data exchange models enable this information to be shared between healthcare providers, professionals, patients, hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories regardless of the application being used. And since our healthcare system always put their patient at the top priority, the system also prioritizes better and improved healthcare interoperability.
The trouble of identifying patients and information blocking are two major areas when it comes to ineffective interoperability.
Knowing what problems could occur with ineffective interoperability, blockchain technology has something better to offer that would resolve issues that afflict the current system. Imagine a healthcare system that offers higher security and transparency while allowing access to doctors, patients, pharmacists, etc. at any given time.
Public Blockchains allows anyone to create an address of their own and begin interacting with the network. But this requires an immense amount of computational power to solve hard puzzles. As such, it is really impractical for these institutes to spend so much money on consensus mechanisms. However, there is one more kind of blockchain that is practical for healthcare institutes, and they are called private blockchains.
Private Blockchains, as the name suggests, allow real-time data to be shared between the participants of the network only on a "permissioned or private basis." A "permissioned or private blockchain" is a closed network where all the participants involved in the system have access to the network. It is built and used inside organizations and enterprises to exchange information and make transactions securely. Once a transaction is processed through consensus, it will be treated as a permanent record and get added as a new block to the existing blockchain.
Understanding that healthcare interoperability can be solved by blockchain, there are other advantages that blockchain technology can bring to the healthcare system such as Secure Healthcare Setups, Patient Payments through Cryptocurrencies, Drug Traceability, Clinical Trials & Data Security, Patient Data Management and a lot more.
Knowing all these, it is safe to say that blockchain technology could be the innovation our healthcare system is waiting for.