With such a hustle and bustle around cryptocurrencies, spot trading, or margin trading at Bitcoin Broker, could you ever imagine that blockchain technology can be helpful in the healthcare domain?
Possibly, the first thing that comes to mind once you hear blockchain is a virtual currency. However, this is not the only sphere where blockchain technology is applied. We have prepared for you the list of healthcare use cases. Read on to discover them.
Electronic health records are getting more and more accessible with blockchain
Blockchain for healthcare is most popular at the moment because it keeps our medical records safe and secure. In the healthcare industry, security is one of the biggest concerns. In the period between 2009 and 2017, over 176 million patient records were exposed as a result of data breaches. Data stolen by the perpetrators included credit card and banking details, as well as health and genomic testing records.
As technology is able to keep an incorruptible, decentralized, transparent log of all patient data, blockchain is rife with security applications. As well as being transparent, blockchain is also private, concealing a user’s identity with complex codes that can protect sensitive medical data. Patients, doctors, and healthcare providers can also share information quickly and safely due to the technology’s decentralized nature.
Managing electronic health records (EHR) can be challenging. Healthcare providers may have different EHRs for the same patient, depending on their location. CareCloud hopes to change that with APIs and blockchain technology. Their goal is to give patients more control. Patients will have the ability to authorize the exchange of medical records between doctors. An API that runs on the Hyperledger blockchain platform is currently available.
Data of all patients is kept secure
One more example of such a blockchain-based program is Akiri. This company provides the healthcare industry with a network-as-a-service that protects patient data while transporting it. As a network and protocol, Akiri does not store any data; instead, it establishes policies and configures data layers in real-time with the goal of verifying the data’s sources and destinations. Akiri makes sure healthcare data remains secure and is only shared with authorized parties when they need it.
Remote doctor consultations
MyClinic.com is another healthcare blockchain solution. Medicalchain, a UK startup, and Groves Medical Group, a chain of private clinics, developed this service together. Blockchain software aims to provide secure and transparent means of transferring electronic healthcare records (EHRs) between patients and doctors.
This solution allows patients to receive a real-time consultation with a physician via the internet. Transport and rental fees are not required, so the fee has been reduced. All payments are made directly to the specialist.
Proper chain of custody in drug shipments
The Chronicled startup develops blockchain-based chains of custody for drug supply chains. Using its solutions, pharmacies can trace back the origins of supplies, detect suspicious and ill-intentioned activities, for instance, drug trafficking and forging drugs.
In 2017, Chronicled created MediLedger, a blockchain-based project that allows checking pharma supply chains for conformance with local regulations. In a nutshell, the solution keeps a forgery-proof record of transactions on a blockchain, thus helping to authenticate raw materials that drugs are made of and detect counterfeits promptly.
Control of healthcare transactions
In the healthcare sector, Change Healthcare develops a variety of products focused on payment management and data management. Ninety-two percent of top health plans in the U.S. use their services, according to their website.
In addition to simplifying revenue cycle management, one of their latest developments simplifies claims management. Besides managing claims and remittances, it also assists hospitals in improving patient payment collection, minimizing denials and underpayments, as well as managing daily revenue cycles and business operations.
Genomic data theft has become a major issue with companies supplying DNA sequencing to individuals. Blockchain technology could prevent this, and even provide a marketplace for scientists to buy genomic data for research purposes. This would enable safe data transfers without the need for expensive intermediaries.
Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric are currently being used on a relatively small scale as blockchain technology frameworks.
Blockchain services could be used to improve the management of healthcare data with improved security and synchronized transactions.
Making secure the clinical trials
Testing of certain medications is also done in order to determine their effectiveness and to find out the side effects of their use.
It usually takes up to a few years for these tests to be completed and requires immense investments.
As part of a recent announcement, IBM Canada and Boehringer Ingelheim are collaborating on the development of blockchain-based healthcare software.
There are typically three phases to a clinical trial.
- At first, medications are tested on a small group of individuals;
- Then, they are tested on a larger group; and finally, they are distributed to the largest group;
- Once the NDA is approved, the medications are distributed. Few drugs make it through all these steps.
A readily available blockchain platform called BloqCube aims to speed up clinical research and provide complete data integrity. Clinical trial management systems (CTMS) are integrated with payment and accounting systems on the basis of blockchain technology to provide a comprehensive solution for medical institutions and clinical trial investors.
What are the biggest good sides of blockchain for medicine?
In fact, blockchain technology can be applied in a wide range of industries and fields. The following are some advantages of blockchain technology for medicine:
- Verifying data is essential to the process of processing insurance claims or managing pharmaceutical supply chains;
- Enhanced security and privacy (e.g., using cryptography keys to protect identity);
- Decentralization (no one owns all the data on a global scale, but everyone has access to any data from anywhere);
- Identifying who owns health data (Cryptography protocols and smart contacts are solutions for determining who has access to patient data);
- Because of the robustness of blockchain, healthcare applications do not suffer data loss, security attacks, or corruption.