Blockchains have the potential to revolutionize health care practices. In a blockchain ecosystem, patients have the capability to keep their electronic medical records in a secure, private, and easily accessible location — rather than turning to a third-party service for this information. By reducing the risk of data breaches and identity theft, blockchains can heal a fractured health care system. In this article, we will review the blockchain in healthcare today and how medical blockchain technology is shaping the modern world.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the way of storing data through what’s called distributed ledger technology. It creates an open, transparent, peer-to-peer network where computers are connected to each other directly rather than through a central server or database. This allows for secure transactions between users on the network without the risk of third-party interference.
One of the biggest problems in moving to blockchain technology is proving that it’s worth adopting. But while there has been a steady stream of successful (but relatively small-scale) blockchain projects, it’s still hard for businesses to agree on what “success” actually looks like.
What Makes Blockchain Great for the Healthcare Industry
People often ask, “What is the common thing between blockchain and healthcare?” Medical records, medicine supply chain, and genetic code research are three areas where blockchain technology can profoundly impact healthcare.
The healthcare industry utilizes blockchain to make medical records completely secure, accessible only to patients and doctors. This means no more worries about health insurance or other deals that demand access to your data. Blockchain technology in the healthcare industry manages the supply chain of medication perfectly.
Benefits of using Blockchain Technology in Healthcare
- Cost-efficiency: Consensus mechanisms are transparent and require no intermediary. Cutting the middleman results in improved costs.
- Confidentiality: Different organizations can collaborate without sharing sensitive information (for example, medical records).
- Speed of processing transactions: Transaction speeds are significantly faster than normal ones, as there is no manual oversight.
Blockchain Technology and Healthcare
Blockchain applications in healthcare can significantly help the industry. Despite trust issues in blockchain technology, it is about to disrupt the healthcare industry.
Blockchain in Healthcare today
- Transparency in the supply chain – in a field as important as healthcare, it’s crucial to know the origin of each good to ensure its authenticity. Using a blockchain-based system to track items from manufacturing to delivery gives customers complete visibility and transparency of what they’re buying.
- Electronic Health Records (EHR) – there is a massive problem with accessing comprehensive patient information in healthcare. Healthcare systems in every country and region are struggling with this issue — but a recent invention has brought a new solution. Blockchain technology has been used for medical records, ensuring that patients and their healthcare providers have a complete view of medical histories. It will help reduce errors and improve care for everyone involved.
- Medical staff verification – Healthcare organizations can use blockchain technology to streamline the hiring process by putting their trustworthy credentials on the blockchain. It means that healthcare organizations can digitally transmit verified information about their staff’s education, work history, and any additional training. By doing so, they can help them become employed by medical institutions more quickly than would usually be the case.
- Remote monitoring (IoT security) – Doctors can keep a closer eye on patients with remote monitoring. By implementing sensors that measure vital signs, doctors can monitor patients from afar and prevent nasty health problems from getting worse or even potentially saving lives. Securing this digital health data is just as important as monitoring itself. Blockchain cryptography makes sure that personal data is safe and secure — with no chance of personal information falling into the wrong hands — no matter how many times the data is sent and received.
Blockchain technology has the capability to have a major impact on the efficiency, security, and accessibility of patients’ medical records. The encrypted data on the blockchain can be accessed or shared virtually, thereby enabling patients to access their own records from any place in the world. And while the medical industry can greatly benefit from the innovations, blockchain in healthcare today is still in its infancy, and we should not expect miracles at this point.
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