Blockchain in healthcare offers countless possibilities. It is no wonder why there is a growing surge of interest over the past several years.
At heart, blockchain technology can help healthcare providers enhance patient experiences. There is, of course, a catch!
The growing virtual nature of medical care has placed the security, accessibility, and privacy of health data under scrutiny. Here, disruptive blockchain applications are offering promising solutions. It is helping to unlock value and change the face of the healthcare landscape.
The true potential of healthcare blockchain remains ahead of us. And, you can leverage the technology to transform patient experiences.
Blockchain technology has immense potential. As C-suite executives, you can encourage the momentum and create secure ecosystems in healthcare with blockchain.
There are some stunning instances of how blockchain is helping the “new normal” world. Before we deep dive, let’s have a quick peek at some basics.
Blockchain is a distributed-transaction technology that is open, public, and secure. The underlying concept is that of the append-only open (cryptographic or encoded) ledger.
In blockchain, every transaction occurs within the network and is added to the ledger once authenticated by the network nodes.
Today, healthcare is at a crossroads of blending the classical philosophies with niche technology.
Our healthcare landscape is centralized for years. But now the shift to decentralization with blockchain is also reaping benefits. Here’s how a decentralized blockchain technology can benefit the healthcare sector:
1. Enhanced security
The storage of various medicine-related data has become more secure with blockchain. Furthermore, many healthcare blockchain companies are already optimizing the technology revolution.
2. Improvements in medical manufacturing and control processes
The processes are experiencing improvements due to blockchain. The technology boosts the process by storing and recording the parameters. Furthermore, it delivers an auditable trail of production and shipment with automated decisions.
3. Facilitating pharmaceutical product analysis
Another exciting area is the use of technology to analyze temperature control for pharmaceutical products. Here, the information related to the whole supply chain across warehouse, shipment, and dispensing for such products are transmitted to a blockchain. Plus, Smart Contracts can determine the stability of the product.
4. Boosting interoperability
Blockchain interoperability comes into action with smart contracts. It aids in storing health records on a digital ledger.
So, health records can be easily transferred to various doctors and hospitals without compromising record safety.
5. Aiding health insurance
One can find a change in the traditional insurance system with blockchain. A patient’s medical insurance policy details can be stored on the blockchain using smart contracts.
Now, with this switch, the patient’s profile on the blockchain is less prone to hacking than when stored in a traditional database.
6. Leveraging telemedicine
For telemedicine and telehealth solutions, which are gaining popularity, smart contracts can be set up. When implemented on a privately owned blockchain, the technology can aggregate, analyze, and share data safely.
Blockchain is proving to be a robust technology that can drive healthcare industry performance. Plus, it can reduce the costs of delivery and augment the quality of patient care.
Here’s a look at some challenges and how blockchain applications can offer solutions.
Table 1. Blockchain solutions for some healthcare industry challenges
|\*\*Healthcare Industry Challenge(s)\*\*||\*\*Blockchain Opportunities\*\*|
|Data security||- Digitizing data security of transactions - Uses asymmetric cryptography to secure transactions|
|Fragmented data||- Shared data across the network and nodes - \*\*Example:\*\* Pilot project at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre. The project used the Ethereum network to create smart contracts and draw patient data from different local storage systems.|
|System interoperability||- Enables authenticity - More effortless execution of smart contracts across blockchains|
|Cost-effectiveness||- Reduced transaction costs and real-time processing - As per a Santander FinTech study, distributed ledger technology could lessen financial services infrastructure costs to the tune of anywhere between 15 billion USD and 20 billion USD per annum by 2022.|
Blockchain in healthcare can support seamless information sharing. The technology can reduce duplication, inconsistencies, and errors that arise due to centralized data storage.
The blockchain applications can benefit the healthcare ecosystem. Here are some incredible ways of how blockchain is boosting patient experiences.
Blockchain maximizes many different areas of the healthcare system. Today, the shift is towards enhancing patient-centric experiences.
Let’s take a look at the companies that are leading the blockchain revolution in healthcare.
Location: Colorado | Industry: Big Data, Cybersecurity
Blockchain application: BurstIQ is a pioneering company offering enterprise-level blockchain solutions for the healthcare industry. The solutions are HIPAA and GDPR compliant. Plus, it extends to insurers, healthcare institutions, pharma companies, government agencies, and more.
Contribution and impact: BurstIQ’s platform helps to avoid abuse of opioids or other prescription drugs. It also provides updated information about the healthcare activity of patients.
Location: New York | Industry: Financial infrastructure, Deploys Ethereum blockchain solutions
Blockchain application: The Company develops enterprise blockchain applications. Plus, it builds developer tools that are both efficient and secure. ConsenSys sets up next-generation networks with their full-stack Ethereum products. They have also addressed many healthcare industry problems.
Contribution and impact: ConsenSys’s Ethereum blockchain technology streamlines drug and medical device tracking and medical data management.
The applications include secure EHRs (electronic health records). Plus, the applications cover drug security in clinical trials, incentivization through micropayments, and more.
Location: Massachusetts | Industry: Biotechnology, Genetics
Blockchain application: Nebula Genomics focuses on enhancing genomic data protection. Besides, it addresses the challenges of genomic big data. They use blockchain technology to leverage the study of genetics and lower costs.
Contribution and impact: Nebula Genomics is turning breakthrough technologies into products. Furthermore, it makes them available to people all over the globe.
They offer the most affordable 30x whole genome sequencing in the market. It also helps researchers use genomic data to understand the causes of diseases to develop new drugs.
Location: Texas | Industry: IT, Enterprise Software
Blockchain application: Factom offers practical blockchain-enabled data solutions. The Company provides a Blockchain-as-a-Service platform to build business-ready apps.
With Series A funding, they could build Factom Harmony. The creation is their Blockchain-as-a-Service platform. The good part is that the platform offers a full suite of REST APIs and managed services.
Location: California | Industry: AI, Blockchain, Software, Medical
Blockchain application: Doc.AI offers AI-powered and blockchain-based solutions to decentralize medical data.
Contributions and impact: Doc.AI partnered with health insurer Anthem to study the use of AI in predicting the occurrence of allergic reactions.
They built a series of companion apps in the sphere of genetics, medical research, and mental health. The apps have been augmenting engagement into an optimal real-time experience.
Location: Paris | Industry: Blockchain, Supply Chain, Pharmaceuticals
Blockchain application: Blockpharma offers a blockchain-based system to help prevent patients from taking counterfeit medicines via its Blockpharma app.
Contribution and impact: The Company offers solutions that help verify the authenticity of medicines purchased. The solution guarantees traceability throughout the distribution chain with the latest machine-learning technologies.
Location: Slovenia | Industry: Healthcare software
Blockchain application: The IRYO network uses blockchain-enabled solutions for transferring medical data. The network helps to organize health data using blockchain.
Contributions and impact: IRYO ushers in a new era of data interoperability, helping secure sensitive medical data. The open-sourced OpenEHR platform is a great platform that ensures data consistency. The solutions allow patients to share their medical history securely, anywhere in the world.
Location: California | Industry: Cybersecurity, Blockchain
Blockchain application: Guardtime uses blockchain for cybersecurity applications, including healthcare.
Contributions and impact: The Company boosts human trust with the cryptographically encoding design of applications.
Location: California | Industry: Blockchain, Supply Chain Management
Blockchain application: The Company’s blockchain networks ensure the safe arrival and detailed review of drug shipments. The MediLedger Project was created to provide safe and efficient medical supply chains.
Contribution and impact: Chronicled’s MediLEeger offers a secure peer-to-peer messaging network. The decentralized blockchain network is a reliable bridge between trading partners.
Location: Tennessee | Industry: Blockchain and DLT, Hospital and Health Care
Blockchain application: Hashed Health specializes in healthcare, Smart Contracts, blockchain, distributed ledger, and more. The solutions are focused on decreasing the cost of care. Plus, it reduces administrative inefficiencies.
Contribution and impact: The innovative solutions help to empower the health of individuals via blockchain/distributed ledger technology.
Blockchain technology presents plenty of opportunities in healthcare. However, today, technology is still not fully mature. There are quite a few organizational and technical challenges.
Yet, in light of the innovative blockchain-enabled solutions and applications, one can learn to make the most of the promising opportunities.
Blockchain is still a novel technology in the healthcare sphere. It has the potential to change the face of the healthcare landscape, and you can be a part of the change revolution.
With the right solution provider, you can boost patient experiences with intelligent solutions.
Get in touch with us to build a robust blockchain-enabled solution for your healthcare business. We are an award-winning technology company with experience in building blockchain applications for healthcare.
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