Digital Ventures

Back to blog

Blockchain in Healthcare: How data management tech will transform the healthcare sector

DIGITAL VENTURES August 27, 2018 5:31 PM

7,619

The technology of the moment would surely involve the Blockchain that has vastly impacted the business and industrial sector. In the near future, Blockchain will move even closer to us. This will also uplift the healthcare industry that directly relates to how we live. Is this technology efficient enough and how can it alter the healthcare sector? Let Digital Ventures help you explore.

Blockchain and managing health data.

Everyone who has visited the hospital may have gone through the registration counter where they collect your health and medical records. In this process, conventional computers are still used in several hospitals whereas some remain to use hardcopy paper, which can cause difficulties in the searching and sharing process. In conventional computers, although they make the search simpler, yet their data can’t easily be shared with the central unit in times of emergency.

The concept of Blockchain can solve or alleviate this problem, both in terms of sharing and searching. This can be done by storing the health data at a central unit. The technology has the ability for quick search and low probability for change, thus, its accuracy is supreme. Users can add new data which will be protected. Moreover, the system supports powerful encryption, which means it is highly safe. Therefore, Blockchain combined with digital identification can quickly and precisely help to access and share data for the healthcare service sector. 

 

Credit: crypto-news.net

Storing healthcare data with Blockchain also helps health service providers to always be updated with their health records. As a result, this will make the service faster and more precise. Moreover, privacy is enhanced when compared to storing data on a single database or on paper. This can be accomplished with the proper encryption technology. 

Nevertheless, as personal health records are a sensitive issue, this solution is still a concept in development and is still seeking the proper conclusion.

 

The supply chain in hospitals: Resolve discrepancies and wastefulness with Blockchain.  

Hospitals have complex equipment and process. Therefore, discrepancies in its procedures can lead to financial losses. Forbes reported that, in the USA, it is estimated that, in 2016, issuance of medical receipts with errors amount for up to 600 million USD of loss.

This began the idea to use Blockchain in storing supply chain data in the treatment processes. This will include equipment used, medication prescribed as well as the practitioners and personnel involved for each treatment. This will provide evidence for precise cost calculation. Also, data on Blockchain can’t be altered, thus, it serves as the perfect proof and tracking tool.

Blockchain can also be used for the supply chain in medicine and medical device manufacturing similar to the food industry. The availability of past information for the manufacturing and transporting process of medicine and medical devices can increase trust when using the devices and help with better quality verification.

 

Credit: ultraconsultants.com

 

More importantly, storing and verifying data with Blockchain can help solve “counterfeit medications” problems. This issue is harming human health and the economy. USA’s National Institutes of Health reports that counterfeit medications have caused economic damages that amount for 200 billion USD even without including the health damages that has affected the people.

Precise and complete data for efficient researches and policies.

At present, data not only is difficult to search, and risk being hacked but the systems are also unable to store the complete set of data. USA’s public health department estimated that up to 50% of medical data can’t be used for reports because the data is incomplete, thus, they can’t be used for further research or policy planning.

Medical records can only be revealed with approval from the patient wherein most patients are concerned about their privacy. If data is stored on Blockchain it can be accessed under special conditions and require approval before being used as a reference. This will make more patient agree to reveal their records for further research. Also, data store on Blockchain will be complete and precise, thus, they will serve as a good reference for researches.

Furthermore, the tremendous amount of data managed by Blockchain will provide an overview of the healthcare situation in the country. The government will acquire precise information that can be used to develop healthcare policies that better matches the demand of the people.

Cyber Security: Upgrade security for the future of HealthTech.

HealthTech development can greatly enhance the healthcare of the people. However, the issue that follows is the leak of information from the use of the Internet of Things (IoTs) with regard to health. Protenus Bleach Barometre reports that, in 2016, 27 million people’s health data leaked from the use of IoTs.

For this part, Blockchain can support the safe exchange of data between IoTs by using advanced encryption. The use of Blockchain with IoTs is an idea that was previously used in FinTech and retail. Therefore, it can easily be applied to data exchange in HealthTech. (Find out more about the Internet of Things, one of the disrupting Deep Tech, here.)

This wraps up examples of how Blockchain can enhance the healthcare sector which is related to everyone. However, these examples are simply concepts that still need to be further developed. Follow Digital Ventures for more information about Blockchain and HealthTech.

Reference: ibm.com, delotti.com, and nih.gov