Today technology is playing a vital role in solving the customer’s problem in any businesses or industries. We have already heard about the blockchain in many ways and millions of people are already a part of this. And for the healthcare sector blockchain brings many new opportunities in many ways and will discuss it in detail.
It is the technology that creates well established and sorted data records that are shared between a networked database system peer to peer. Blockchain technology records the digital events and the benefits are it will not allow for the data to be changed or recognised until it reaches the recipient. So, data is secured and protected from the data breach threats.
So, we can say blockchain is a digital ledger of information. There is no need for third-party handlers everything will be handled by the blockchain.
Blockchain technology is a digital ledger of information. Blockchain works differently, it establishes and sort data records with a shared network database system peer to peer. The main benefit of blockchain technology is it will not allow anyone to change the data until it reaches the recipient. So there is not a single space for data breaching and threats.
“Blockchain in healthcare is estimated to grow over $5.61 billion by the end of 2025.” - healthmanagement.org
In the healthcare industry data of any patient is very important and using blockchain technology for the healthcare helps to increase in privacy, security, and interoperability of health data. Blockchain technology will totally change the process of information exchange in the healthcare business model.
Let’s discuss the impact and benefits of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector and know how this technology can transform the whole healthcare sector to the next level and how it brings more opportunities and success to the business.
Blockchain is a decentralised, distributed and digital ledger that is used to record transactions across so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, and there is no need to alter the other blocks. By using the cryptographic methods, it enables each member in the network to view, store, and exchange information, without the pre-existing trust between parties.
The main reason behind the more secure system of blockchain is there is no central authority and every transaction record in the blockchain get stored and distributed across all the connected network participants. All the information in the blockchain is verified and if there is any interaction in the system all the participant will be notified the most transparent way of processing the information and most useful for the healthcare because there is much sensitive information in the healthcare sector.
Blockchain technology is really a great innovation and it solves many digital challenges like:
- Help in Reduce Transaction Cost by eliminating the third parties
- No alteration of data
- Recorded transaction help in transparency
- Innovative business model
There is a number of transaction occurs on a daily basis like patient information or registration, health indices, payment, therapy results, everything is monitored quickly,
These pieces of information are shared with some shared electronic ledger. When there is only one electronic ledger there is no scope of errors and fraud of information. Blockchain works with the peer-to-peer so each system shares a copy of all ledgers. So verification of information against all the copies will be easy. So the process of blockchain will reduce the redundancy and decreases vulnerabilities to a huge extent.
The working process of blockchain is very different from centralised databases. Blockchain works over the distributed system there is no role of a middleman because in blockchain the cryptographic codes get auto-generated for various levels of users this way the system will be more secure for the sensitive data. Information of the patient is secured at a higher level, there is a single unified system.
Impact of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector.
So, by now you already know the little to more benefits of blockchain in healthcare, but it is important to know that what areas exactly blockchains are impacts, read below points:
- Single Data Source: As we have mentioned above, in the process of blockchain information, all the transactions are stored & added to it only once by the confirmation of the participants. For the higher level of security, the data recorded on it cannot be changed. The single data source is helpful and can be used by the researchers for studying the massive amount of undisclosed information of a certain group of people. This information can help in many ways as it helps in longitudinal studies (panel study) to develop precision medicines for effective treatment.
- Data access and monitoring 24*7: When we are using blockchain for healthcare it can be useful to store and update the data of useful patient so monitoring the data of the patient can be easy and done anytime using the devices like IoT.
If we think about accessing the data or permissions you can manage the permissions for the doctors to edit the information in the patient’s record. Only those doctors have permission who is involved in patient’s care and that doctor has access to editing, whereas other doctors can still view the records. This presents an easy way for data sharing across the researchers. Any information gained could be easily stored in the blockchain, hence no need to report anywhere else.
- Decentralises Patient Data: Blockchain technology doesn’t rely on a central point of control and that why it’s called the decentralised system. This removes the requirement of central authority and a single user can also handle this. Data recorded are secure and hack-proof its most revolutionary quality: its value of decentralisation.
The concept of decentralised is very simple like all the records that are stored within the blockchain, is not saved inside one centralised storage block. There are one or more computers running within the network with the copy of all the data in the blockchain. With this system whenever anything is updated in the chain, all the nodes in the network get notified of this at once.
So, there is not a single source which is in charge of all the data anymore.
This decentralised system can solve problems like: - Information Blocking - Identify Patients The healthcare industry needs a solution for the data and the solution is the blockchain.
According to a report by BIS research, by 2025, the healthcare industry can save up to $100 billion per year by 2025 in data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations costs, support function and personnel costs, counterfeit-related frauds and insurance frauds if they incorporate the blockchain technology.(source:blockgeeks)
- Telemedicine & Insurance: One way blockchain can significantly affect the medical industry is to reduce the cost of medical care. Like, it eliminates the idea of an insurance broker is eliminated. This is where ‘Smart Contacts OR Crypto Contract’ come in, these are the contracts that precisely and exactly spells how money as tokens, is going to be spent.
Blockchain brings much new healthcare possibilities like with the smart contracts they eliminate the requirement of physically going to book the appointment instead they can use the skype to book one. Blockchain brings in several new opportunities like everything is transparent and clear rules, doctors have permission to edit the patient data, with the security there is a high level of trust on all sides.
For example, in the arena of telemedicine, the process begins here as soon as the patient opens the case and sends the necessary information, such as images through the application to the doctor. Once the doctor reviews the information, the patient then sends back a diagnosis & treatment options. In order to market the payment patient can use the tokens. Payment is secure via Ethereum blockchain that supports smart crypto contracts.
Going by the above discussion on how blockchain impacts several domains of healthcare it is clear that its benefits are endless and below we will be discussing a few of them.
Now we know the impact of blockchain and it is clear that its benefits are more than we think so let’s discuss a few benefits:
- Data Monitoring and Access: We are in the technology advancement and discussing the blockchain in healthcare would be so useful to store and update the essential patient data like blood pressure and sugar level in real-time using the IoT and wearable devices. This technology can help doctors to monitor the patient who is at risk 24*7 and they could inform their family about any emergency.
- Lower Transaction Costs: To reduce the transaction costs by enabling the peer-to-peer transaction blockchain has entirely eliminated third-parties & even the banks.
- Security: All the data in the blockchain technology stored across all of the systems and there is no centralised data. So this already makes it all the more secure and hack-proof.
- Genuine Data: When the data are in the blockchain the alteration of data is impossible because even the system admin or third parties can not change the data. So this proves that the data is genuine & unaltered.
- Transparency: It is one of the top advantages of using blockchain in the healthcare industry. Data in healthcare is more important in the blockchain each transaction is recorded and verified publicly.
The customised care plan can also be implemented in a better manner with blockchain.
- Data Integrity in Healthcare: As we know blockchain is the decentralised system so it doesn’t matters where the medical data records are generated, the records could be added to blockchain providing complete proof of advice & patient indices as this data can’t be changed. Now this aspect is mainly crucial for the clinical trials & medico-legal cases where it is vital to ensure the integrity and interoperability of data.
- Cost-Effectiveness: When it comes to blockchain there are no third-parties or mediators allowed as it doesn’t need them to fetch and transfer data. The absence of this third-parties and mediators result in great cost-effectiveness in the system of healthcare.
- No-Password: With Blockchain, there’s no need for passwords to secure your transaction or devices. The two parties involved can usually make payments via an SSL certificate. Additionally, the blockchain network reviews everything, thereby eliminating the possibility of anything fake.
When you use the password to any of your device or record there is still a chance or possibility of your data getting leaked. But when you have blockchain technology you get rid of this fear.
With blockchain, there is no need for a password to secure your transaction or devices. The payment made between two parties will be made via an SSL certificate.
Additionally, Blockchain network reviews everything, and eliminate anything fake.
When blockchain is integrated with healthcare operations the potential of creating new business models will be increased. Let’s see some of the examples:
Healthcare professionals: Using blockchain technology whether it is doctors or nurses they can easily access the patient’s data at all times and track and guide them accordingly. Using the wearable devices healthcare professionals can easily track and notify in case of any emergency.
Pharmacies: The job if pharmacies can be easier when they have blockchain technology because of the availability of the data they want. With the help of this data, pharmacies could guide the patients on how they require to take the medicine.
Pharma companies: To offer a range of medical products and treatments and customised plan for a specific patients blockchain technology is the great help for pharma companies because they can collect the real-time data and that data are genuine.
Blockchain Projects in Healthcare:
- Robomed Network
Blockchain is an emerging technology. It is for sure that blockchain technology will impact the healthcare sector and also boost the healthcare sector as we know the benefits of it.
It is challenging to implement blockchain into healthcare and we have already discussed it into the article. But the technology will make the healthcare sector secure than ever for sure.
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