Blockchain in Healthcare: Advanced Gateway in Digital Health Industry
A blockchain is a secure mechanism for storing and exchanging transparent information. Each block in the chain is both an autonomous unit carrying the information and a dependent link in the collective chain, and this duality results in a network managed by individuals who store and exchange the information.
Blockchain can enhance urgent care apps, monitoring devices, sharing and storing electronic medical records, clinical trial data, and insurance information storage, among other things.
What is Blockchain Best at?
The process of recording information and data in an immutable and transparent manner in which no party has unequal authority over the data
Facilitating data sharing across various parties
Managing identities and permissions for authentication and verification, including the ability to validate identity attributes without disclosing sensitive information
Making (real time) payments and transactions possible
Multiple parties exchange virtual currency/tokens with intrinsic value; virtual currencies can also be linked to fiat currencies with equivalent amounts
5 Blockchain Healthcare Applications in Digital Health
1. Transparency in the supply chain: Ensuring the authenticity of medical supplies to guarantee their validity is a major problem in the healthcare industry.
Using a blockchain-based system to monitor commodities from the point of manufacture and at each level of the supply chain provides customers with complete visibility and transparency of the goods they are purchasing.
This is a critical goal for the business, particularly in emerging economies where fraudulent prescription drugs kill thousands of people each year. It is also becoming increasingly critical for medical supplies, which is growing rapidly with the introduction of more remote health monitoring and, as a result, drawing the attention of corrupt individuals.
- The ability for the consumer to follow each package’s end-to-end history, with integration with manufacturers, wholesale, shipping, and so on.
- Medical devices and pharmaceutical companies have a lot of reporting burden to guarantee patient safety, therefore, combining supply chain data into one system helps with compliance — When FarmaTrust’s blockchain-based technology detects a problem, for example, it automatically notifies law enforcement.
2. Electronic health records: Every country and area is dealing with the issue of data storehouses, which means that patients and their healthcare professionals have an incomplete picture of their medical history.
One possible answer to this challenge is to develop a blockchain-based medical record system that can be integrated with existing electronic medical record software and serve as a single, encompassing view of a patient’s data.
It’s important to highlight that patient’s data isn’t just stored on the blockchain; instead, each new record added to the blockchain, whether it’s a doctor’s note, a prescription, or a test result, is turned into a unique hash function (a short string of letters and numbers).
A hash function is unique, and it can only be processed with the authorization of the data owner or patient.
3. Insurance and supply chain settlements: Pharmaceutical firms, medical device OEMs, distributors, insurers, and healthcare providers, for example, can validate their organizational identities and track contract data.
They can also track the transaction of goods and services and payment settlement details for those goods and services, using blockchain-based systems from companies such as Chronicled and Curisium.
This sort of environment extends beyond supply chain management to enable healthcare trading partners and insurance providers to work on entirely digital and, in some circumstances, automated contract terms.
Instead of each player having their version of contracts, they can dramatically reduce disputes over payment chargeback claims for prescription drugs and other items by storing shared digital contracts between manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare organizations on a blockchain ledger.
4. Verification of medical personnel credentials: Blockchain technology can be used to track the experience of medical professionals in the same way that it can be used to track the provenance of a medical good.
Trusted medical institutions and healthcare firms can log the credentials of their employees, which helps healthcare organizations speed the hiring process.
Few key benefits of blockchain are:
· During the employment process, healthcare organizations will be able to get certified more quickly.
· There is a possibility for medical institutions, insurers, and healthcare providers to monetize their existing credentials data on previous and current employees.
5. Remote monitoring security: One of the most significant trends in digital health is the usage of remote monitoring solutions, in which various sensors detect patients’ vital signs that provide healthcare practitioners with greater visibility into patients’ health, allowing for more preventative care.
However, security is a major concern in healthcare IoT, both in terms of ensuring that patient data is private and safe and that it is not tampered with and leads to misleading data.
To summarize, blockchain is a revolutionary technology that enables safe data sharing and access between numerous parties. The privacy and security of medical data are crucial, but improving the quality of care is impossible without more coordination in processing and managing patient data across the healthcare system.
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