When we talk about Blockchain, many think about Bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies. And although one cannot go without the other, there is far more to Blockchain than virtual coins. Blockchain technology is the most important technology in the world, one which will soon power the entire world.
If you’re fairly unfamiliar with Blockchain, would you be surprised if we tell you that Blockchain is currently adopted across multiple industries? One such industry, which we’ll talk in great length, is the healthcare industry.
Blockchain in Healthcare: Top Applications That You Should Know
The healthcare industry is one of the slowest growing industries in the world; this is very unfortunate if we are to consider how important the healthcare industry is to us. As much as we hate to say it, the proof if in the pudding, even while we’re soon into 2020.
There is a lack of innovation in the healthcare industry. Hospitals were revolutionary once, but they are pretty much still the same from a few decades ago. While there have been technological advancements, they are few and very lacking.
So how Blockchain technology could offer its use in this industry?
Blockchain Can Solve Interoperability
Blockchain is essential data; records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers. Blockchain is completely decentralized, meaning that not a single entity has control over it. Blockchain is made out of blocks, which are the date we’re talking about. Each block is secured by cryptography and cannot be hacked, or in any way changed. Furthermore, the Blockchain is fully transparent, so one can track the data if they want to, but this is very difficult.
Now, according to Digital Authority Partners, interoperability is a serious problem in the healthcare industry. Improving healthcare interoperability is an issue that policymakers, providers, and patients could have a lot of use from. Everyone would benefit if the issue of interoperability in healthcare is solved. The two main issues surrounding it, however, are the trouble of identifying patients, and information blocking.
· Trouble of Identifying Patients
Historically, there have been examples where a patient’s electronic health record has been lost, mismatched, or downright switched with another patient. This is a daunting problem that the healthcare industry has been trying to solve for nearly two decades. However, an issue hasn’t been found.
· Information Blocking
Information blocking has a definition in the healthcare industry and that definition is: “An unreasonable constraint imposed on the exchange of patient data or HER.” Information blocking can be the cause if there has been interference, knowledge, and no reason if the data isn’t accessible. Hospitals want to make it as hard as possible for you to transfer to another hospital. That’s why information blocking is a thing; to make sharing of information extremely impractical.
So how can Blockchain’s application help solve this issue? Well, there are two types of blockchain, private and public. Public Blockchain is the one you’re most familiar with. It is the one that is fully transparent and completely anonymous. Private chains are private and aren’t open to anyone, unlike public ones. They require permission to enter the environment, but things are fully transparent between the members of the chain.
So How Does This Help The Healthcare Industry?
Well, imagine a network where both patients and medical personnel require entrance. Now, since we’re talking about Blockchain, the information will be truly transparent to everyone in the chain, medical personnel, and patients. A Blockchain-based healthcare environment cant eliminates a large portion of fraud, such as information blocking, since medical personnel and patients will need to provide their personal information if they are to enter. They will then need to be verified, recorded, and stored. And since the Blockchain cannot be changed or interfered with, the information will be fully transparent.