You are currently viewing What is blockchain, and how does it benefit healthcare?

What is blockchain, and how does it benefit healthcare?

The blockchain is a Decentralized app Development, distributed data storage, and generation system. When one device on a blockchain performs a transaction, all other devices produce identical blocks that reflect this action. When blockchain data is altered, a partnership is created to record the change so it can be easily verified and traced to its source.

How can blockchain be utilized in the healthcare industry? This technology employs sophisticated cryptographic mechanisms to strengthen data security. The blockchain’s permission system returns data ownership to individuals, and its transparency makes clinical trials possible. Furthermore, it offers unique contract management and payment capabilities.

Advantages of blockchain in healthcare

The following are the principal advantages blockchain technology offers to various healthcare stakeholders:

Blockchain for healthcare organizations:

  • It improves decision-making because blockchain enables multiple physicians in different locations to view comparable data in real-time.
  • Transforms patient medical records into a decentralized, tamper-proof system.
  • Accelerates medical accreditation

Blockchain for patients:

  • Enables patients to take responsibility for their medical records
  • Supports consent mechanisms prohibiting access to patient information by healthcare providers without patient permission
  • Allows patients to participate in research and monetize their data without intermediaries.
  • Securely collects and stores data from wearable devices.

Blockchain for pharmaceutics:

  • Helps to recruit participants for clinical trials
  • Its immutable records support reliable and auditable documentation of clinical trials.
  • Allows for the detection of fake drugs

Blockchain for insurance:

  • Accelerates confirmation acquiring process
  • Allows insurers to draft and manage contracts using smart contracts.
  • Reduce expenses by removing intermediaries

Disadvantages of blockchain in healthcare

Due to the nature of this technology, the adoption of blockchain in healthcare has several disadvantages.

  • As the number of blocks increases, transaction times lengthen, leading to delays.
  • Inability to delete records permanently. The network generates additional blocks to reflect the invalidation of existing documents.
  • For this technology to function, all participating organizations must adopt it.
  • Problems with large patient files, such as MRI scans, are possible.
  • Expensive planning, building, and maintenance expenses

Blockchain in healthcare: use cases

Here are seven of the most prominent healthcare applications of blockchain technology:

  1. Transparent distribution chain
  2. Quicker medical accreditation
  3. Electronic health records focusing on the patient
  4. administrable clinical trials
  5. Enhanced protection
  6. Smart contracts that enforce obligations
  7. Genomic studies

Blockchain increases healthcare supply chain transparency.

Counterfeit drugs are a persistent problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1 percent of all medications in developed nations are fake. This number rises to nearly 10 percent in developing countries. In 2021, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized over 9.5 million counterfeit medications in the United States. The agency reports that this number is greater than the sum of the two previous years.

One of blockchain’s applications in healthcare is enabling customers to verify the authenticity of products at every stage, including manufacturing, wholesale, and shipping. This is important for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Once a drug ledger has been created, the point of origin, such as a laboratory, is recorded. Since then, all manipulations of this drug have been recorded. Information such as labor costs and the amount of waste emitted during manufacturing and transportation can be included in a blockchain.

Reads More: skunk haircut

MediLedger is an example of a blockchain protocol that healthcare organizations can use to validate information about the supply chain of prescription drugs. This includes expiration dates, manufacturers, etc. Additionally, MediLedger enables parties to exchange encrypted peer-to-peer messages. This network is utilized by numerous renowned healthcare providers, including Bayer, Pfizer, and Cardinal Health.

In another instance, Paris-based Blockpharma developed a solution that scans and verifies the entire medication supply chain at all points of shipment. The app allows patients to confirm the legitimacy of their purchase. It is believed that Blockpharma intercepts 15% of all counterfeit drugs worldwide.

Blockchain speeds up medical credentialing.

Verifying credentials, including training, skills, medical licenses, and education, is a time-consuming process typically conducted via phone and email and can take up to four or six months. According to the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare, payers spend nearly $2 billion annually to maintain a comprehensive database of healthcare providers. Blockchain technology can provide a faster and more reliable alternative that does not rely on direct human references.

Blockchain enables healthcare organizations to record and monitor staff credentials. This arrangement streamlines the hiring process and increases transparency and trust between hospitals, subcontractors, and patients. In addition, blockchain records permit incremental updates when professionals need to add credentials.

Two physicians founded the healthcare credentialing startup ArchiveCore. It uses blockchain to verify primary source credentials and expedite new hires’ background checks. Carilion Clinic was astounded to find that they could have saved $1.2 million in lost revenue by implementing ArchiveCore software into their standard hiring procedure for 17 employees.

Blockchain enables patient-centric EHRs.

Sharing medical information is a delicate and highly regulated endeavor. A survey of physicians and nurses in the United States reveals that 74% of respondents believe that the safety of patients is compromised when their health information is shared between departments.

Offering a comprehensive overview of patient records and managing data-sharing consent is one of healthcare’s most popular blockchain applications. Patients are notified when their data is updated, and they can share full or partial records with physicians, researchers, and other parties. Patients can even limit when a third party can access their medical records. This system allows insurers to validate confirmations with patients directly, bypassing intermediaries.

MedicalChain exemplifies one application of the technology. This company facilitates the integration of healthcare providers’ electronic medical records with a blockchain-powered platform. MedicalChain software can create other healthcare solutions, such as virtual consultations and marketplaces, enabling patients to profit from their anonymized medical data.

Blockchain facilitates clinical trials.

ClinicalTrials.gov reveals that the annual global cost of drug development is approximately $350 billion. Clinical trials generate vast data and involve numerous parties, including sponsors, study participants, physicians, researchers, drug manufacturers, etc. Consequently, errors are common, and there is room for deliberate falsification. Identifying and recruiting participants is a further challenge. According to a recent report, only 8% of cancer patients participated in clinical trials. Trail information is typically stored in centralized databases, making it difficult to share with all parties involved.

A second use case for blockchain in healthcare is to increase the transparency of clinical trials, allowing researchers to identify studies with questionable protocols and prevent their publication. All clinical trial documents can be time-stamped and securely stored using this technology. The records stored on the blockchain are project proposals, surveys, research designs, blood tests, and patient consent forms. Furthermore, this technology enables geographically dispersed participants to view the data simultaneously in real-time, which is crucial for trial decision-making.

Moreover, blockchain development companies can help manage the finances of clinical trials. Boehringer Ingelheim, for instance, collaborated with IBM to implement a blockchain-based accounting system for its clinical trials. Another issue is the delayed payment of participants in clinical trials. It typically takes these individuals several months to receive income. Bloqcube specializes in blockchain-powered clinical trial software. It believes that working with central bank digital currencies can significantly accelerate the payment process, allowing doctors and patients to receive payment mere minutes after completing a task.

Blockchain enhances security

Most health data is stored in centralized databases that cannot provide adequate security against theft and breaches. According to HIPAA Journal, six hundred eighty-six healthcare data breaches compromised a total of 44,993,618 medical records in 2021.

Blockchain can facilitate the secure storage and sharing of health data. Akiri, a California-based network-as-a-service provider, uses blockchain to offer a set of policies, configure data layers, and verify the source and destination of health data in real-time.

Encryption is also supported by blockchain. To access patient information, healthcare providers will need the corresponding public key. 63% of healthcare organizations do not encrypt protected health information (PHI) on their workstations, according to research. Testd, a leading US test, and vaccine verification platform uses blockchain to encrypt and anonymize its data.

Supporting wearable medical devices is a second security-related use case for blockchain in healthcare. This technology securely records and transmits IoT data from devices to healthcare providers. It can prevent unauthorized data modification, block access to specific devices, and shut down compromised nodes.

Blockchain enforces commitments via smart contracts.

Contract disputes and noncompliance with contract terms are a problem in every industry. According to research, 10% of medical insurance claims are contested, while 17% are denied for reasons such as insufficient information, duplicate claims, improper registration, etc.

Smart contracts can provide a remedy for these daunting issues.

A smart contract is a blockchain-deployed piece of code. It is configured to run automatically when certain conditions are met. By eliminating intermediaries, smart contracts enable the medical industry to reduce expenses.

This technology enables various healthcare actors, including providers, patients, insurers, and medical device manufacturers, to authenticate themselves on the network and document contract clauses, which will be executed automatically and remain visible to all parties. For instance, when a patient visits a doctor, the blockchain ledger will reflect this event and notify the insurer. Smart contracts enable parties to verify facts and expedite dispute resolutions.

Curisium, recently acquired by HealthVerity of Philadelphia, developed a blockchain-powered platform for contract management and negotiation in the healthcare industry. It enables providers and payers to engage in innovative, secure contracting arrangements and to identify common grounds in the event of a dispute.

Blockchain enables genomic research.

A few years ago, the cost of genomic sequencing was $10,000, but today it is only $1,000, with some companies claiming to perform the procedure for $100. This encourages scientists to conduct research related to the genome. But where can willing participants be found? And how can secure storage be provided for such enormous datasets?

Here is another healthcare application of the blockchain. This technology enables users to store billions of genome data points, securely exchange them with other parties, and establish ownership. The technology allows individuals to legally monetize their genomic data without needing intermediaries.

EncrypGen, for instance, provides a blockchain-enabled DNA marketplace where participants can upload, share, search, and sell genetic data using DNA tokens that can be traced.

In a separate instance, the Israeli biotech firm DNAtix uses blockchain to facilitate the exchange of genomic data between data owners and researchers, with DNAtix tokens serving as the means of payment. The company is proud to have completely anonymized all fees and contracts. The company’s CEO, Ofer Lidsky, explains, “We are introducing a new way to participate in research, test your DNA, store your DNA, and maintain your anonymity. The genetics available will be the safest on the planet.”

  • A few years ago, the cost of genomic sequencing was $10,000, but it’s now only $1,000, with some companies claiming they can perform the procedure for $100. This motivates scientists to conduct genome-related research. Where can we find willing participants? How can you store terabytes?
  • Here is another healthcare blockchain application. This technology allows users to store billions of genome data points, exchange them securely with third parties, and establish ownership. Additionally, the technology will enable individuals to monetize their genomic data without intermediaries legally.
  • EncrypGen, for example, offers a blockchain-enabled DNA marketplace where participants can upload, share, search for, and sell genetic data using trackable DNA tokens.
  • In a separate instance, the Israeli biotech company DNAtix uses blockchain technology to facilitate the exchange of genomic data between data owners and researchers, with DNAtix tokens serving as the payment method. The company is pleased that all payments and contracts have been completely anonymized. The company’s CEO, Ofer Lidsky, explains, “We are introducing a new way to test your DNA, store your DNA, and participate in research while maintaining your anonymity. The available genetics will be the safest on the planet.” A few years ago, the cost of genomic sequencing was $10,000, but it is now only $1,000, with some companies claiming they can perform the procedure for $100. This motivates scientists to conduct genome-related research. But where can we find willing participants? How can such massive datasets be stored securely?
  • Here is another healthcare blockchain application. This technology allows users to store billions of genome data points, exchange them securely with third parties, and establish ownership. Additionally, the technology will enable individuals to monetize their genomic data without intermediaries legally.
  • EncrypGen, for example, offers a blockchain-enabled DNA marketplace where participants can upload, share, search for, and sell genetic data using trackable DNA tokens.
  • In a separate instance, the Israeli biotech company DNAtix uses blockchain technology to facilitate the exchange of genomic data between data owners and researchers, with DNAtix tokens serving as the payment method. The company is pleased that all payments and contracts have been completely anonymized. The company’s CEO, Ofer Lidsky, explains, “We are introducing a new way to test your DNA, store your DNA, and participate in research while maintaining your anonymity. The available genetics will be the safest on the planet.”

How to proceed with implementing blockchain in healthcare?

During an interview with Healthcare IT News, Stuart Hanson, CEO of Avaneer Health, stated that blockchain is not a technology that medical facilities can simply implement to solve their problems. It cannot be added to an existing technology stack. Suppose you want your organization’s blockchain adoption to be successful. In that case, you may need to adapt your internal processes, expand your tech stacks, and assist your employees and partners in adopting a new operating mode.

Furthermore, organizations that wish to reap the full benefits of blockchain use cases in healthcare will need to collaborate with their rivals. IBM and banking institutions, for instance, collaborated with naturally competitive healthcare organizations, such as Sentara Healthcare, Cleveland Clinic, and Aetna, among others. This collaboration aimed to establish a governance structure that will oversee a blockchain-powered healthcare network.

Consult with healthcare software development firms if you are interested in implementing blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. With the proper support, your medical facility will be able to reduce costs, improve patient care, and increase data security and transparency, despite the complexity of deploying this technology.

Author Bio:

This is Aryan, I am a professional SEO Expert & Write for us technology blog and submit a guest post on different platforms- Technoohub provides a good opportunity for content writers to submit guest posts on our website. We frequently highlight and tend to showcase guests

transition

transition-words.com act as a connector that establishes a link between written words. They help to maintain a flow of whatever message you want to convey. There are many types of transitional phrases such as should I also eat ice cream or furthermore.

Leave a Reply