Blockchain technology is here to stay, and it has the potential to transform a wide range of industries, including healthcare, in the coming years. Both the public and private healthcare sectors may experience a shift sooner rather than later.
Why use Blockchain for Healthcare?
While the concept of Blockchain in healthcare may still feel nebulous to some, its basic functionality is actually quite simple to understand. Individual data blocks chain together sequentially on a blockchain ledger, and each block relies on the previous one for sequential permanence in identification. A public network of users known as nodes evaluates and audits the ledge. A continuous verification process is created to ensure accuracy as a result of the combination of data permanence and transparency. Furthermore, because blocks use one-way encryption, nodes can verify data while protecting proprietary or sensitive data. All of this makes it ideal for the healthcare industry, where confidentiality and accuracy are critical and fraudsters are common. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at how blockchain can be used in healthcare. Now let's dive deeper and take a look at the four key areas where Blockchain is transforming healthcare.
Sharing medical research
Medical and life sciences leaders have repeatedly called for a data-sharing platform where researchers can share the results of clinical trials and other medical research. Experts have also advocated for greater data sharing between pharmaceutical companies and those in the chemicals, technology, manufacturing, and supply chain industries, among others. According to the World Health Organization, 50% of clinical trials go unreported, usually because the results are negative. This leads to information gaps for stakeholders and patients. A secure, yet visible database containing the results of new medical trials, for example, could improve patient care while reducing the possibility of fraud.
Patient health records
Data portability across multiple systems and services remains a significant issue in the healthcare industry. Blockchains could be used to store our medical records, enabling patients to resume ownership of their personal data, while also allowing professional healthcare practitioners to interact with it, revolutionizing the delivery of treatments and preventative care. The technology will enable finely customizable openness while adhering to the highest security standards to ensure true interoperability. This will enable health information systems to "collaborate within and across organizational boundaries" in order to improve healthcare delivery. PatientMD, an online health management service provider is using blockchain to secure patient data.
Bluetooth and wi-fi-enabled devices are now ubiquitous in our daily lives. This has benefited a variety of industries and applications, but for healthcare, in particular, connected devices can provide a wealth of real-time data. For patients, this can mean a wearable medical device that transmits data to the patient's physician for real-time monitoring from the patient's home. This data must be collected securely in order to be analyzed, and the blockchain provides a platform for protecting data while also making it available and accurate when queried.
Micropayments and data monetization
Blockchain in healthcare could also increasingly support monetary transfers between patients and care centers, particularly at the micropayment level. The new value-based healthcare models could see providers reimbursed based on the level of well-being achieved rather than the number of services provided. "Doing the right thing" could become the goal to be rewarded with incentives, which could be provided by a universal and simple-to-use blockchain platform. This platform could be used to both reward patients for their efforts to engage inappropriate behavior and to simplify the sharing of healthcare costs. PatientMD rewards or incentivizes patients whose activity promotes good health and wellness with“Patient” tokens through the use of smart contracts.
Blockchain - the future of healthcare?
While the healthcare sector is undergoing a digital transformation, we are still in the early stages of this process, and without a centralized model to follow or adopt, it is a massive undertaking for healthcare systems to embark on. Given its unique ability to ensure appropriate encryption and security, blockchain technologies are set to become a major factor in future healthcare programs. If you’d like to learn more about the PatientMD blockchain platform, please text us at +18727048154.
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