Healthcare is a vital part of our society, constantly evolving to meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals. Blockchain technology has been gaining much attention in the healthcare industry due to its potential to revolutionize the field in recent years.But is this just hype, or blockchain for healthcare can make a difference?
There must be something to this technology, and it appears that it is not just hype, given how major players like IBM, Microsoft, and Google are investing in blockchain research for healthcare.
This blog article will examine how blockchain can transform the healthcare industry. Additionally, we’ll discuss several obstacles that must be removed before blockchain technology in the healthcare industry can be broadly used. So let’s get started without further ado!
How does blockchain apply to healthcare?
The healthcare sector is complicated since many parties are involved in patient care. These range from medical professionals and facilities to insurers and even governmental organizations. All of these stakeholders’ interactions might be streamlined by blockchain technology, making it simpler to communicate information vital to patient care.
For instance, a secure, decentralized network for storing medical records uses blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. It also makes it simpler for medical practitioners to access blockchain medical records from anywhere while giving patients complete ownership over their health data.
Additionally, there have been several instances of private medical data being stolen or hacked.
More than 50.4 million patient records were compromised in 2021, according to GlobeNewswire. According to the WHO, 30% of medicines in some countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America may be fake.
The healthcare sector must take various steps to address these issues and create solutions to overcome these high figures. This is where blockchain technology in healthcare may help since it can raise transparency, lower the risk of data fraud, and improve the effectiveness of healthcare systems.
The ways that blockchain is changing the healthcare sector
Data protection, data monitoring, and other advantages of blockchain technology for the healthcare sector are just a few. This section will go through some of the major advantages and potential applications of this technology to advance the sector:
Enhanced data security
Healthcare data management that is secure, transparent, and impenetrable is made possible by the distributed database known as the blockchain. When used in the healthcare sector, blockchain technology can assist in resolving some of the most frequent problems the sector faces, such as fraud, interoperability problems, and data breaches.
Thanks to blockchain in the healthcare industry, patient data is saved in a decentralized network rather than on a centralized server. As a result, it is far more challenging for hackers to access or alter medical data. Blockchain also makes it possible for various healthcare providers to exchange data while protecting the privacy of their patients.
This is because blockchain data is encrypted, and it is only possible to access it with permission. Finally, by giving a record of every transaction, blockchain can aid in reducing fraud and corruption in the healthcare sector.
Continuous data monitoring
When it comes to maintaining and optimizing electronic health records, continuous data monitoring is required in the healthcare sector. Many human lives are on the line daily, and even a small margin of error can have catastrophic results.
Every piece of information about a patient’s health, from the patient’s blood pressure readings to the doctor’s prescriptions, must be tracked and accessible around the clock. However, due to several factors like interoperability problems, data breaches, and other challenges, the current healthcare infrastructure frequently fails to deliver this data accessibility.
Blockchain is useful in this situation. Due to its distributed nature, this technology can offer continuous data accessibility and assist in improving the management of electronic health records. Blockchain can also assist in resolving interoperability problems by offering a uniform platform for data exchange between various healthcare providers.
Enhanced clinical trials
According to estimates, the worldwide clinical trial market is valued at USD 38.7 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 52.0 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1%.This market is expanding due to several factors, including the expansion of clinical trials, rising outsourcing demand for R&D, and the commercialization of pharmaceutical products.
But with so many parties involved, the clinical trial process is frequently drawn out and difficult. These delays and inefficiencies may impact clinical trial success. Additionally, it might be challenging to communicate information because clinical trial data is frequently segregated.
By offering a transparent and secure method to store and handle clinical trial data, blockchain in healthcare has the potential to assist in resolving these issues. Each stage of the clinical trial process would be documented using blockchain, making it simple to follow data and spot mistakes. Blockchain might also be used to validate the identities of patients and physicians, ensuring that only people with the proper authorization have access to clinical trial data.
Better medication safety
Adverse medication responses are a significant issue for the healthcare sector. Each year, they cause tens of thousands of hospital admissions and fatalities. Additionally, it is estimated that treating adverse medication responses costs billions of dollars per year.
The provenance of medicines can be tracked throughout the supply chain using a blockchain technology database. This would make it possible to spot fake or contaminated pharmaceuticals early on. Additionally, blockchain monitors patient outcomes, enabling the early identification of unfavorable effects.
One way blockchain may change the healthcare sector is through increased drug safety.
Blockchain’s smart contracts can automate various procedures in the healthcare sector. They could be used to automatically process insurance claims, determine a person’s eligibility for benefits, and make appointment bookings.
Furthermore, smart contracts could be used to manage patient data and records, guaranteeing that only people with the proper authorization can access private data.
Management of billing and claims
The process phase, known as claims and billing management, is where the medical claims connected to the patient’s diagnosis, prescription drugs, and treatments are filed and processed. There have been multiple instances where the security of medical records has been breached, which has resulted in theft and fraud cases.
Blockchain technology makes it simple to do away with these occurrences because it works by recording medical data and preserving it in an open digital ledger where any changes to the data are immediately accessible to everyone on the blockchain.
Other advantages of implementing blockchain in healthcare include lowering medical errors, improving public health, and many more. These benefits are in addition to the ones already mentioned. Now that we know how blockchain is changing the healthcare industry let’s examine some use cases for blockchain in the industry.
Use cases for blockchain in healthcare.
While blockchain healthcare start-ups are implementing some of the use cases, some are being piloted by big businesses to protect their operations. Let’s examine some actual blockchain uses in the healthcare sector.
Traceability of drugs
The capacity to follow a drug product from manufacturers to patients along the whole supply chain is known as drug traceability. By offering an unchangeable record of the movements of drug products, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize medication traceability. Most medication traceability systems today rely on a centralized database vulnerable to manipulation or hacking.
A blockchain-based system would offer a decentralized, impenetrable record of each drug product movement. This would make it easier for regulators to spot and recall fake goods. Additionally, blockchain might track pharmaceutical items in real-time when paired with AI and the Internet of Things. This would make it possible to respond to drug shortages or recalls more quickly and effectively.
To track pharmaceutical medications along the supply chain, Walmart, IBM, Merck, and KPMG partnered to pilot a blockchain system in this area. This research aimed to guarantee that the medications were authentic and up to par in terms of quality.
Blood plasma supply chain
Blockchain technology simplifies the plasma supply chain and guarantees that all parties have access to correct, current information in the healthcare industry. Many life-saving treatments depend on plasma derivatives. The existing supply chain is complicated due to the widespread participation of hospitals and blood banks in the collection, processing, and distribution of plasma.
Unfortunately, this method frequently suffers from mistakes and inefficiencies, which causes severe shortages of plasma at crucial times for patients. According to a survey, the plasma supply chain market is expected to grow quickly and reach $15.5 billion by 2024. With higher mortality rates, the lack of plasma on the market could have detrimental effects.
Prescription drug surveillance
Prescription drug monitoring is another area where blockchain is being used in healthcare. According to estimates, 18 million Americans aged 12 and older—more than 6% of the country’s population—used prescription medications in the year prior. Blockchain technology can assist in resolving this issue by offering a safe and impenetrable method of tracking prescription medications.
With blockchain, a record is created and maintained each time a prescription medicine is dispersed. Authorities could follow the flow of prescribed medications and spot abuse trends. Blockchain technology could also be used to confirm the identities of patients and physicians, ensuring that only people with the proper authorization have access to prescription drugs.
Verifying the credentials of medical staff
Verifying the credentials of medical workers is a key blockchain in the healthcare use case. In the US, there are more than 1,073,616 licensed doctors, according to Statista. Confirming each person’s credentials can be challenging when there are so many medical specialists.
Therefore, a growing number of businesses are using blockchain technology to check the credentials of medical workers. Organizations may rapidly and securely confirm the credentials and experience of medical workers by using blockchain in credentialing.
Additionally, blockchain offers a permanent record of credentialing data that can be utilized to trace the professional development of medical workers. Therefore, securing the quality of services in healthcare companies requires blockchain-based credential verification.
Advancements in genomics
It is widely acknowledged that genomics has the potential to advance healthcare. According to Emergent Research, the global market for blockchain in genomics is anticipated to reach USD 1,258.3 million in 2027.
Data sharing in genomics is one of the main issues. Many patients are hesitant to submit their genomic data due to privacy concerns. Platforms for the secure and decentralized sharing of genetic data are being developed using blockchain technology. It enables patients to give researchers access to their genomic data while giving them control over who sees it.
The advantages of blockchain in healthcare offer exceptional chances to simplify processes, facilitate collaboration without the need for trust, and produce safe, unchangeable data.
There you have it, then. Ending: Although blockchain has not yet revolutionized healthcare, it undoubtedly will. If your firm is prepared to embrace change and implement cutting-edge concepts, you can turn to Teksun. This reputable and trustworthy company offers Blockchain IoT App Development to help you grow your enterprise.