Why Blockchain Tech May Be Key To Protecting Patient Records
By Adrian Johansen, freelance writer; @AdrianJohanse18.
While cybersecurity is an issue constantly addressed by the media and something small and large businesses alike are consistently focusing on, one of the biggest digital dilemmas comes from the healthcare system. This may be unsurprising, given that financial records and personal data are all stored within patient care files. Hackers are fully aware of the value of this data, and it’s about time that the medical industry shows that it does as well.
Sadly, one in four consumers have had their healthcare data breached. This calls for swift action by the players in the field. Some experts think that the answer can be found in blockchain. That’s right — the same technology that secures Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could soon become the key to protecting patient records.
While there have been ongoing discussion among government and finance officials about the actual risks of cryptocurrency, it’s generally agreed upon by tech experts that blockchain is one of the most secure ways to go. Will the world see this technology implemented into its healthcare systems soon, though? It’s very possible that the answer is “yes.”
The Security of Blockchain Makes It the Best Ledger for Healthcare Networks
The reason that blockchain technology a regular part of public discussion and being normalized in new industries so frequently is its transparency and security measures. It’s garnered public, private, criminal, and government interest due to this, and it’s doubtful that its popularity will stop anytime soon. But what is it about the ledger that makes it so safe?
Primarily, it’s the unique approach it takes to security keys. There wouldn’t be a way for someone to modify or corrupt information within a blockchain system without the relevant key. At one point it was even believed that the technology was unhackable.
While there is still debate over what it means to hack blockchain networks and whether or not it’s even been done, that debate still points to the safety of those networks at large. Without a doubt, it is the most secure ledger for protecting personal data — and hospitals may need it the most.
Making It Official
The lengths at which blockchain is being adapted cannot be understated. Government officials are starting to explore the technology, and the big four investment firms are even beginning to pay attention to it. But what does this mean for the healthcare industry?
Well right now, blockchain still is not the norm. Currently, if a hospital or healthcare organization wants to adopt it, they are probably making the best move in terms of security.
While there are downsides to this kind of mass adoption (discussed at further length below), it also calls for advancements to be made, which could better these systems as a whole. It should be noted that with something as new as blockchain technology hitting the greater market, there are a lot of changes bound to happen that cannot be accurately predicted right now.
The Adaptation of Blockchain in Culture May Challenge Security
Granted, it is very important to recognize that blockchain’s mass acceptance could adulterate the technology. With businesses at large implementing it into their operations and the parallel use of mobile money tools in modern society, people are going to start looking for loopholes. Hackers are going to make it their duty to try and disrupt it.
For this reason, there needs to be external precautions set up for security. A good example is business insurance — something necessary for every hospital, even with blockchain implementation. The loss of mass amounts of data is bound to occur, so hospitals need to be protected, even when their systems seem foolproof.
Right now, hospitals and organizations at large need to understand that blockchain is a very important technology to the future of healthcare. But it cannot be solely depended on, either. Other precautions need to be taken to protect patient data by the healthcare industry. Blockchain may be the best option healthcare networks have for data security.
How do you think blockchain will change, for better or worse? Do you think this will heavily affect the healthcare industry? Feel free to share your opinion in the replies below!