Blockchain offers countless opportunities for growth and development of many industries. Sectors like finance, banking, government and public services, education and commerce have already taken the first steps at embracing this revolutionary technology.
One of the industries blockchain can change beyond recognition is healthcare. In this post, we will cover the opportunities blockchain offers for the healthcare sector, and the present use cases of blockchain in healthcare.
Why does healthcare need blockchain?
Healthcare industry has a lot of issues on a local, national and global levels. It has been struggling with data collection, storage, and transfer problems for a long time now. Federal regulations and rules make all the healthcare procedures lengthy and tedious. The current healthcare system does not manage patient data well. Pretty often it happens so that one patient cannot gather all of their medical records in one place and in one format quickly, or cannot gather the needed information at all.
Unfortunately, critical patient information is in most cases scattered across different healthcare institutions in different formats. What makes it even harder for healthcare providers and patients is that data management systems and security regulations often vary across different institutions and states. What’s even worse, many medical records have mistakes in them, and the outdated data management systems cannot trace and fix these mistakes. It all boils down to this: in extreme situations and in time of urgent need, it is practically impossible to access all the needed patient information easily, quickly and securely.
What can blockchain do here? With the help of this innovative technology, healthcare providers will be able to facilitate their data management processes beyond recognition. Blockchain can help healthcare providers collect, exchange, analyze and secure medical records seamlessly. It will give doctors and patients an opportunity to access any needed patient data from anywhere without tolerating the privacy or security of any party.
Can blockchain be a panacea for the healthcare industry? One thing is for sure — this technology can help the healthcare system improve healthcare services greatly without rising the costs of the corresponding processes significantly.
Blockchain and patient data handling
Blockchain can help the healthcare sector solve the issue with patient data storage. Potentially, it can cancel all the cultural, geographical, political and religious limitations that interfere with patient data handling nowadays. When the patient data is stored in the blockchain, it can be processed, managed and transferred seamlessly and securely. It means that in times of greatest need and urgency all the required data will be there to save a life.
MedRec, an Ethereum-based system, is one of the first blockchain-powered solutions that aim at facilitating patient data management. MedRec makes it easy for patients and doctors to view and manage patient data securely.
The Central and Southern Ohio chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (CSO HIMSS) announced its Spring conference titled “AI, Blockchain and Care: The Future ABC’s of Healthcare” will be held on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Conference Center at OCLC, 6600 Kilgour Place, Dublin, Ohio.
The conference will open with a welcome from the CSO HIMSS program hair, Caitlin Graham, CSO HIMSS president, Ajay Sharma, and will include a presentation of Scholarship Awards to recipients Shreya Patel from Ohio State University and Melissa Schulte from Miami University. The conference will feature keynote addresses from Dr. Tina Moen, chief pharmacy officer of IBM Watson Health and Ed Marx, CIO, the Cleveland Clinic.
The conference will conclude with a blockchain panel discussion with two members from the HIMSS National Blockchain Task Force on the panel topic “ABC’s of Healthcare with blockchain. The Reality Today and how to make it work for you tomorrow.”
Ajay Sharma, president of CSO HIMSS said, “The CSO HIMSS Chapter likes to be at the forefront of educating our members with relevant trends for the healthcare IT ecosystem. AI and Blockchain are both areas that are being talked about in a healthcare provider setting due to clinicians being inundated with data. With cloud adoption, storage discussions start in the Petabytes. We are sure that in the not too distant future, the concept of ‘only Petabytes’ may sound quaint. AI provides hope to many in IT to tame that data challenge and be able to provide faster and more efficient care for our patient populations.”
In addition to the educational aspect of the event, there’s also the opportunity network with other attendees and innovative sponsors. Sponsors include Cisco, IBM, AHEAD and Box, Commvault, Nutanix, Path Forward IT, Zones Healthcare IT Solutions and Covermymeds.
Augusta HiTech announces the launch of One Med Chart, the first blockchain-powered patient-controlled electronic medical records (EMR) platform bringing real-time EMR sharing between patients and emergency medical services (EMS). One Med Chart is a user-driven universal medical record and health information repository designed to give individuals the ability to monitor, improve, and keep track of their health through a user-friendly wellness app.
“People don’t have a single location to view, manage, and share their health information. However, now, through our development of One Med Chart, health information is available at our fingertips, giving users ultimate control of who accesses their health information,” said Guillermo Vargas, One Med Chart Co-founder and CEO. “With One Med Chart’s goal of minimizing unnecessary health risks based on lack of medical information, having an application to request and keep track of appointments with an individual’s medical records attached mitigates such risk. Convenience is a bonus.”
One Med Chart’s wellness app offers individuals a simple way to add important preventive and holistic medical information as well as health information, such as health records and current medications or treatment regimens, straight to their mobile devices for immediate access by care providers, physicians, and emergency personnel.
Wellness app safeguards sensitive information
Augusta HiTech, with the full support of One Med Chart, is essential to the continuous development of One Med Chart’s AI and blockchain-based web application to keep an individual’s sensitive information safe.
While making it easier and intuitive for users to view their medical documents, book medical appointments, send messages and emails to external users, track medications, measure fitness goals of regimens and workouts, or add a QR code snapshot of their medical history for use in case of an emergency.
Augusta HiTech’s Hyperledger Smart Blockchain keeps One Med Chart’s user’s medical records protected through multi-factor authentication and various levels of encryption, so only users can view their One Med Chart Health Information (OMCHI), or share their medical records and workout regimens in real-time.
The wellness app connects to smart devices and gives users the freedom of sharing their medical records through the secure application or sending it securely through e-mail.
Patients can receive their medical records from their doctors through fax, e-mail, directly from an electronic medical records system, or upload documents directly to One Med Chart.
“Our blockchain solution for One Med Chart is designed to give patients a more significant stake in managing their healthcare and to prevent unnecessary deaths from lack of information while providing a measurable impact on cost-effectiveness in hospital settings,” said Sean Caputo, chief strategy officer at Augusta HiTech.
Caputo said that One Med Chart’s blockchain was designed to accurately store data and eliminate the need to track down a patient’s previous medical records, which helps save lives.
“Hospital staff can quickly log into the health record system for an individual at an emergency room to learn about their past medical history,” he said.
One Med Chart Wellness App Features
Users print their Snapshot, which is a QR Code containing health information needed in case of an emergency, and they can carry the Snapshot in a wallet or purse with other cards.
Users choose what information to share with the public and what information to share with medical personnel. Only authorized/certified EMS personnel have access to the One Med Chart EMS app, which is required to view a patient’s private Snapshot.
The Document Manager accepts medical records in various formats catering to the needs of those who need it most. One Med Chart allows patients to control their records by allowing controlled access and length of time (time bombs) to view information.
My Health allows a person to create regimens and workouts to track daily calories lost, daily steps taken, and medications. Inside My Health, users also have Fitness Cards: Heal, Stamina and Olympian.
Heal, allows a patient to create a workout regimen based on a doctor’s plan. Stamina is for people who work out, want to keep track of their workouts and share their workouts with others. Olympian is for record breakers and the physically elite. This information is the only portion of One Med Chart shared publicly.
Fit Center connects smart devices and fitness platforms, such as Apple Health, Google Fit, Fitbit and iHealth.
“One Med Chart is using technology to ensure secure universal access to medical records while promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Guillermo Vargas. “Simply put, a few minutes of uploading medical records could save someone’s life, and tracking workouts can improve a person’s life expectancy.”
Healthcare technology is advancing quickly and this is precisely why executives need to be aware of all new technologies that can make their healthcare organisation more efficient and more impactful. This may seem difficult – staying on top of things and implementing new technologies always is, but it brings immense benefits and great results. While many technology advancements come with all that fame that is often not necessary, it can make patient satisfaction better. It can also improve cost savings and this is really important for the future of your organisation.
So, in this spirit, here are some of the most amazing tech advancements that can help your healthcare organisation become better and take another step towards the future.
Blockchain can make interoperability ai reality. You can solve many problems between healthcare organisations and it’s a solution that healthcare industry has been looking for for many years. It can decentralize the record systems and have multiple locations that can be shared with more stakeholders. This will help the healthcare system immensely and it can operate within different stakeholders in the healthcare systems. Instead of having a single client database, you can include both clinical and financial data on one server and in an independent, transparent database.
“Blockchain technology can share data in a safe system and put the clients and their needs at the center of the attention. Still, healthcare industry is a decade away from implementing blockchain in a meaningful way,”says Ingrid Fulton, a tech editor at Draft beyond and ResearchPapersUK.
Artificial intelligence can help with better oncology. Veterans Affairs is helping with this as a part of their precision oncology program which supports patients that have stage 4 cancer and that have tried all other methods of getting better. They are using AI to help use cancer data in the treatment of these patients. They are also veteran.
They treat more than 3.5 percent of patients in the US and this is the largest group of patients with cancer within any healthcare groups. This includes veterans from rural areas where it has been hard for them to implement better technology, especially something of this value.
Thanks to the advent of technologies, we can witness irreversible changes in our daily life today. It is now easier to cope with our everyday routine because we have smart solutions that speed up the pace of our life and make it more convenient.
Healthcare is where technologies are expected to revolutionize treatment and research methods we are used to so much. Hence, we have prepared some technological trends that will make healthcare more advanced in 2019.
The Internet of Medical Things
The notion of The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is tightly connected with wearables. This technology is designed to transmit the patient’s data through various sensors and gadgets attached to the patient’s clothes or directly to their body. Fitness trackers and smart sensors are specifically elaborated to measure blood pressure, glucose level, pulse, heart rate, etc. Along with that, you can count calories you’ve burned, and miles walked.
Well, it doesn’t sound that innovative in 2019. But what makes it one of the most progressive trends is that the gathered data can be used in many various and innovative ways. For example, preventive medicine can benefit a lot with the help of IoMT. Research gets more accurate and timely, and it is even possible to prevent epidemics using the stats gathered in this way.
Anyway, if this is your college topic and you need thorough research of the field, you can consider getting case study help by ordering your paper online to ensure the highest quality and most accurate statistics.
Well … yes, consulting a doctor through your telly looks like a scene from one of those futuristic novels showing what the world would look like in the 21st century. In fact, it is what we have now. Modern technologies allow us to forget about hours spent in a clinic waiting for your doctor to invite you. That also includes waiting for the results of your tests.
Now you can consult any doctor in the world having a computer and an Internet connection. Imagine that you needed to see a reputable specialist in another country. It would be highly inconvenient to go all the way there just for a consultation. Firstly, you’d have to spend a lot of time. Secondly, you might need help to move around. And finally, it would be costly.
Today, you can contact your doctor from any spot in the world and get their consultation. It will not work in emergency cases, but it can work well if you need help with urgent but small issues. This is a good possibility for those who reside in far rural areas or require a highly specialized doctor to receive timely medical assistance.
The technology can also allow people to get consulted more frequently, which will improve the overall health of the population and establish better relations with doctors.
By Ben Flock, chief healthcare strategist, TEKsystems.
Healthcare professionals know that blockchain is coming, but there is still some apprehension associated with the technology. The cryptocurrency industry first pioneered this technology and its results have been highly impressive. But when it comes to the healthcare industry, there is a lack of proven use cases, leading to a delay in blockchain’s widespread adoption.
To pull back the curtain on the reluctance to adopt blockchain technology, TEKsystems partnered with HIMSS Analytics to host a focus group of business and technology leaders from the payer, provider, pharma and public sector. The goal: to better understand customer needs and business challenges when it comes to actually implementing blockchain.
Findings revealed that, as most in the industry already know or suspect, there is a limited overall understanding of blockchain technology. However, it seems that this limited knowledge is the foundation for most of the apprehension toward widely adopting the technology. Additional roadblocks that contribute to this apprehension include the lack of impactful use cases, fears of what the unspecified governance of data could mean for compliance, security concerns and industry politics, among others.
There is good news—those who have a basic understanding of blockchain exhibit less apprehension and a more cautious exuberance toward adoption of the technology. As understanding of blockchain grows and more practical examples of its benefits are found, the healthcare industry will become more open to implementing blockchain solutions.
During the focus group, participants discussed proven use cases for blockchain that could be used as industry examples to help increase the general understanding of blockchain technology. The group identified three main use cases that could be implemented in the near term after a short testing period: provider directory updates, expediting the provider credentialing process and prior authorization.
A provider directory was the first use case identified by the focus group. Insurance companies must provide patients with timely, accurate provider contact information and new patient availability. While Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulate provider directory services, many of them are inefficient, costly and often laden with manual processes. With blockchain, the provider ledger could be maintained through a proactive, structured, perpetual process enabling open and direct access to provider information on an as-needed basis. Because provider directory information is already public record, it’s a high-result, low-risk proof-of-concept project.
Technology is the new creed that has literally touched almost every aspect of our life. Be it communication, traveling, or exercising, we are always interacting with technology. However, healthcare has always been considered a very conservative area in terms of technology deployment. This is because, in its very nature, healthcare mainly deals with human life which calls for utmost precaution. But the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence has sparked innovation and a myriad of solutions that are already working in the healthcare industry.
At the forefront of this growth are Android-powered smartphone devices. It’s estimated that 88 percent of all the devices sold in the last quarter of 2018 were all powered by Android. It shouldn’t then come as a surprise that companies are looking to hire Android developers to build health-care related apps.
But what does the future hold for tech solutions in the health industry? In this article, we are going to look at the trends in healthcare to look out for in 2019 and a few examples of apps for healthcare.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are getting increasingly sophisticated to the extent of surpassing human capability and the potential for these two technologies in the healthcare ecosystem are huge.
One of the biggest potential benefits of AI in 2019 is helping people to stay healthy without consulting a doctor, or at least do it less often. Coupled with the Internet of Medical Things (IoT), AI is already being used to develop consumer health apps that proactively show patients how to stay healthy.
Moreover, AI is increasingly being used by healthcare professionals to gain deep insights and better understand of routine patterns occurring in patients. With these deeper insights, the caregivers are able to give better diagnosis, guidance, and support to the patients. For instance, the American Cancer Society is already using AI to detect cancer at the initial stages with 99 percent accuracy.
Product development is another area that AI and machine learning are being used. R&D in the medical field can be painstakingly slow and costly given that hundreds of variables need to interact with each other. Today, medical researchers are using AI to safely explore biological and chemical interactions of drugs using the discovery process and clinical data.
Another area you can get artificial intelligence in healthcare is through workflow optimization. It helps automate repetitive tasks such as routine paperwork, patient scheduling, and time-folio entry.
Wearables and Augmented Reality
I do think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.” — Tim Cook at the 2016 Utah Tech Tour – source.
Virtual wearables and augmented reality devices are other emerging healthcare trends proposing to make significant advances in the healthcare space in terms of diagnosis and medical education.
On one side of the scale, virtual reality superimposes a patient in an artificially created surrounding, whereas, augmented reality helps generate layered images to real like objects. As a result, these technologies are and will continue being used by emergency response services providers to relay critical first aid information before the first responders arrive at the hospital.
In the prevention and diagnostics front, VR/AR has allowed medical care providers to create and manipulate different camera colors to reflect or replicate pre-existing effects in their databases.
But perhaps, the biggest impact of VR can be seen in 3D reconstructions of human organs. This has proven important especially when surgeons need to re-create the exact size and positioning of human organs before conducting complicated surgeries. Having the same exact replica of human organs give surgeons the know-how on how to deal with particular organs no matter how small they are.
In terms of medical education, both VW and AR have been great tools in transforming the way students learn. Surgeons are able to rehearse surgery procedures using dummies quicker and without having to use actual human bodies.
The internet age has brought along profound changes in the telemedicine landscape. In the earlier years, telemedicine was strictly limited to doctor and nurse consultation. However, the proliferation of smart mobile devices that are capable of transmitting high-quality videos has opened up avenues for virtual healthcare services from specialists to patients straight in their homes. This is especially paramount in remote areas where doctors can’t easily reach.
Much has been written about the prospect of using blockchain technology as a key component of achieving EHR interoperability. It has been widely reported that 55 percent of surveyed hospitals indicated a desire to initiate some sort of blockchain program within the next two years.
However, as with many game-changing approaches, the devil is in the details. Blockchain technology presents a huge challenge when it comes to impact on the data center–whether that data center is on premises, in the cloud or a hybrid cloud configuration. The tsunami of data added to the already overwhelming amount of required information could swamp a healthcare organization. In addition, the performance decline from this mass of information may negate the positive aspects of using blockchain for EHR interoperability.
Let’s first look at the positives. Defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), interoperability under the health information technology arm includes three specific functions. First, it involves the secure exchange of electronic health information without special user effort. Second, it “allows for complete access, exchange, and use of all electronically accessible health information for authorized use under applicable state or federal law.” Third, it prohibits specific information blocking, the act of “knowingly and unreasonably” interfering with the exchange and use of electronic health information. If implemented properly, blockchain can meet these requirements exceptionally well.
Now for the challenge. Blockchain is slow. In the most recently available study, the Bitcoin network — the largest and most widely tested application of blockchain technology — achieved maximum throughput nearly 50 times slower than PayPal and 14,000 times slower than VisaNet. If blockchain-based applications come in on top of the already staggering load of data handling required of IT in the healthcare sector today, the danger of major system slowdowns, and even system crashes, will increase dramatically. In the healthcare environment, these IT disasters could have life-or-death consequences.
By Pratik Kirve, writer, blogger, and content writer, Allied Analytics.
Healthcare providers have been considering data confidentiality more than ever. It has become a part of patient experience as the implementation of biometric technology to safeguard patient information adds a layer of trust and confidence. As the popularity of biometric authentication increases among smartphone users, healthcare providers have been utilizing it for various processes, especially security. According to the cybersecurity survey by HIMSS, there has been a significant improvement in awareness regarding cybersecurity among healthcare organizations.
More funding has been allocated to IT departments and the advantage of an increasing number of healthcare-specific solutions have been taken. Though the survey spotted many flaws in the implementation of security measures such as usage of outdated tech in the networks, the awareness, and implementation of security shows organizations have taken patient data security seriously. The survey found that hackers have begun security breaches and organizations need to put better vigilance over the patient data and information.
Various measures have been taken by market players and tech giants to ensure the security of data. Fingerprint reading technology has been released to improve security and offer controlled access. Market players have been collaborating to enable better security through integration of iris biometric information with blockchain network. The industry for healthcare biometrics is booming. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global healthcare biometrics market is expected to grow at a considerable CAGR through 2023. Following are some of the activities taking place in the industry:
The megalithic healthcare conference, HIMSS19, has come and has gone from the vast former swampland of central Florida. While I’m a relative newcomer to the show’s trajectory – I’ve been to four of the annual tradeshows since 2011 – this year’s version was, for me, the most rewarding and complete of them all. This could be for one of several reasons. Perhaps because I no longer represent a vendor so sitting in the exhibit hall in a 30×30 booth with a fake smile wondering when the day’s tedium would end and the night’s socials would begin may impact my rosy outlook.
Or, maybe I was simply content to engage in the totality of the experience, attend some quality sessions, meet with many high-class people and discuss so-called news of the day/week/year. Doing so felt, well, almost like coming home. Or, perhaps my experience at the conference this year was so good because of running into former colleagues and acquaintances that drove me to such a place of contentment while there. No matter the reason, I enjoyed every minute of my time at the event.
Something else felt right. An energy – a vibe – something good, even great, seems/ed about to happen. Something important taking place in Orlando, and I was blessed to be a part of it. Kicking off the week, CMS created news – like it does every year at about this time – with its announcement that it will no longer allow health systems and providers to block patients from their data. This was a shot across the bow of interoperability and the industry’s lack of effort despite its constant gibberish and lip service to the topic.
Another fascinating thing that finally occurred to me: no matter the current buzzword, every vendor has a solution that’s perfect for said buzzword. Be it “patient engagement,” “interoperability,” “artificial intelligence,” “blockchain”; whatever the main talking point, every organization on the exhibit floor has an answer.
But, no one seems to have any real answers.
For example, after nearly a decade, we still don’t have an industry standard for interoperability. Patient engagement was once about getting people to use patient portals for, well, whatever. Then it was apps and device-driven technologies. We’re now somewhere in between all of these things.
AI? Well, hell. It’s either about mankind engineering the damnedest algorithms to automate the hell out of everything in the care setting (an over exaggeration) or that AI/machine learning will lead to the rise of machines, which will help care for and cure people – before ultimately turning on us and killing or enslaving us all (again, I’m overly exaggerating).