Impacts And Benefits of Blockchain In The Healthcare Sector
Today technology is playing a vital role in solving customer problems in any business or industry. 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 digital events and the benefits are it will not allow for the data to be changed or recognized until it reaches the recipient. So, data is secured and protected from 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 healthcare helps to increase in privacy, security, and interoperability of health data. Blockchain technology will 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.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and digital ledger that is used to record transactions so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, and there is no need to change 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 gets 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 participants will be notified of the most transparent way of processing the information which is most useful for healthcare because there is much sensitive information in the healthcare sector.
Blockchain Technology is a great innovation and it solves many digital challenges:
- Help Reduce Transaction Costs by eliminating the third parties
- No alteration of data
- Recorded transaction help in transparency
- Innovative business model
How Blockchain can benefit the healthcare system?
Several transactions occur daily like patient information or registration, health indices, payment, and 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 for errors and fraud of information. Blockchain works with 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 redundancy and decreases vulnerabilities to a huge extent.
The working process of blockchain is very different from centralized 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 about 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 what areas exactly blockchains impact, 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 a higher level of security, the data recorded on it cannot be changed. The single data source is helpful and can be used by researchers for studying the massive amount of undisclosed information about a certain group of people. This information can help in many ways as it helps in longitudinal studies (panel studies) 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 patients 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 the 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 among the researchers. Any information gained could be easily stored in the blockchain, hence is no need to report it anywhere else.
Decentralises Patient Data:
Blockchain technology doesn’t rely on a central point of control and that is why it’s called a decentralized 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: is its value of decentralization.
The concept of decentralized is very simple all the records that are stored within the blockchain, are not saved inside one centralized storage block. One or more computers are running within the network with a 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 that 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 Contracts’ come in, these are the contracts that precisely and exactly spell how money as tokens, is going to be spent.
Blockchain brings many new healthcare possibilities like smart contracts. They eliminate the requirement of physically going to book the appointment instead they can use skype to book one. Blockchain brings in several new opportunities everything is transparent and has clear rules. Doctors have permission to edit the patient data, and 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. To market, the payment patient can use the tokens.
Payment is secure via the Ethereum blockchain that supports intelligent 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 blockchain in healthcare. There would be used to store and update 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 transaction costs by enabling the peer-to-peer transaction blockchain has eliminated third parties & even the banks.
All the data in the blockchain technology is stored across all of the systems and there is no centralized data. So this already makes it all the more secure and hack-proof.
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 proves that the data is genuine & unalter.
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 customized care plan can also be implemented in a better manner with blockchain.
Data Integrity in Healthcare:
As we know blockchain is a decentralized system so it doesn’t matters where the medical data records are generated, the records could be added to the blockchain providing complete proof of advice & patient indices as this data can’t be changed. Now this aspect is mainly crucial for clinical trials & medico-legal cases where it is vital to ensure the integrity and interoperability of data.
Regarding blockchain, no third parties or mediators are allowed as it doesn’t need them to fetch and transfer data. The absence of these third parties and mediators results in great cost-effectiveness in the system of healthcare.
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 devices 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 the two parties will be made via an SSL certificate.
Additionally, the Blockchain network reviews everything and eliminates anything fake.
How Blockchain Changes the Business Models?
When blockchain is integrated with healthcare operations the potential of creating new business models will be increased. Let’s see some of the examples:
Using blockchain technology whether it is doctors or nurses. They easily access the patient’s data at all times to track and guide them accordingly. Using wearable devices healthcare professionals can easily track and notify in case of any emergency.
The job of 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 patients on how they require to take the medicine.
To offer a range of medical products and treatments and customized plans for a specific patient. Blockchain technology is a great help for pharma companies because they can collect real-time data and that genuine data.
Blockchain Projects in Healthcare:
- Robomed Network
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Wrapping it Up
Blockchain is an emerging technology. It is for sure that blockchain technology impacts the healthcare sector and also boosts the healthcare sector as we know the benefits of it.
It is challenging to implement blockchain into healthcare and we have already discussed it in the article. But technology will make the healthcare sector more secure than ever for sure.
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