Blockchain enthusiasts will be thrilled to hear that the healthcare industry is starting to widely adopt decentralized ledger technology. IT firms are now embracing the potential of this tech to improve the lives of patients and generate greater profits for large healthcare corporations. In the process, these firms are both bringing new tools to the forefront and repurposing existing medical systems.
In this article, we’ll look at three ways in which blockchain is already changing the game in healthcare.
Genome Sequencing Exchange
Nebula Genomics, a startup company from Massachusetts, plans to create a unique open-source software platform based on genome sequencing and blockchain technology. The core idea is to provide detailed DNA analysis for platform users at no cost from their own pocket.
Here, users can sell their DNA data to researchers of their choosing and get Nebula tokens in exchange for it. They can also use these tokens to buy their or their family’s data from genome sequencing. The platform will employ blockchain to secure and hide the participants’ data.
Prescription Medicine Tracking
MediLedger aims to unify a peer-to-peer messaging network with a decentralized blockchain to monitor and trace prescribed medicine and stop counterfeit receipts. Right now, the program will oversee the transfer and ownership of drug prescriptions, but there are plans to expand this network to other countries.
This project resulted from the Drug Supply Chain Safety Act (DSCSA) and FDA legal requirements for stricter control and tracing of medical prescriptions. Those rules mandate that pharmaceutical companies move to a supply chain with an interoperable system to track medications and confirm the authenticity of a returned medicine before reselling.
Chronicled, a blockchain-leveraging IT company, is building a blockchain system that will meet FDA and DSCSA requirements. This network has nodes run by participants from pharmacological companies. The blockchain network completely obfuscates supply chain handshake transactions. It is mainly used to validate the origin of serialized global trade identifiers (SGTINs) and track drug prescriptions.
Patient-Owned Electronic Medical Records
A Slovenian blockchain startup company, Iryo, is working on replacing a centralized and ineffective medical records system with one based on blockchain tech that gives patients ownership of their data. Patients provide a ledger list with their complete or partial medical history to hospitals or researchers.
They also decide how long the recipients will have access to these medical records. The goal is to make the process of obtaining the proper treatment for patients straightforward, regardless of where they are, while their medical data is secure and encrypted.
The entire system will be based on IRYO tokens that patients get from hospitals and other healthcare companies with whom they exchange their medical data. They can use this token to cover medical procedures and services at little to no personal cost.
The blockchain company is working with the non-profit organization Walk With Me to give people in the Middle East control over their medical records and store them on personal smartphones.
Pathology Results from an AI
With constant shortages of doctors, patients often struggle to get timely medical counseling without paying for it. Doc.ai, an artificial intelligence startup company from Palo Alto, is looking into developing a robotic medical advisor that will be available 24/7.
Doc.ai uses AI deep learning to compile personal medical data from several sources, mainly pathology. The AI also gathers information from health records, social media accounts, and smartwatch data. Patients can ask Doc.ai for medical advice at any time.
With experts from computational linguistics working on this project, this AI learns from patients’ questions and provides a natural response akin to talking to a real doctor. The AI already has a vast library of most asked questions, and this pool of knowledge will keep on growing in the future. Users can consult the AI on subjects like optimal ferritin parameters, reducing their cholesterol, or sudden changes in glucose levels and get a clear and informative answer.
The company uses blockchain tech to store personal data in a decentralized manner. Doc.ai believes that a handful of corporations will monopolize AI technology unless everyone makes a big push toward decentralized artificial intelligence development.