The current Blockchain revolution has found its way into the healthcare industry. According to a study by IBM, 16% of healthcare executives are currently considering integrating the blockchain into their processes. These figures are encouraging in view of the fact that new technologies often find it difficult to be adapted in certain sectors. The technology, which started out as the underlying architecture of Bitcoin, is thus increasingly conquering industries.

 

What The Hell Is Blockchain And What Does It Mean For Healthcare And Pharma? - The Medical Futurist

What The Hell Is Blockchain And What Does It Mean For Healthcare (Source: The Medical Futurist)

 

The blockchain makes it possible to solve some of the industry’s previous problems in the health sector. It provides a secure, decentralized database of health information that doctors and approved providers can access to view all the data they need. With the help of the new technology, this is not only much more secure and controlled, but also saves time, since cumbersome data transactions are avoided. The physician thus has more time for the care of his patients and receives up-to-date information from research more quickly.

Now, if you flinch to give so many people access to your medical information, it is justified, but there are many reasons why you should give someone access to your information. The simplest example would be moving to a new city, where it would not be a cumbersome sending of health records, but a simple release that would allow your new doctor to view your medical history. Possible allergies or intolerances can also be accessed more quickly in emergencies. The new technology can therefore save lives in an emergency.

 

“The most interesting feature of blockchain in the health sector is the ability of patients to own and control their own health information.” Matt Jackson, Canada’s Institute on Governance

 

Blockchain technology offers numerous possible applications, which of course first have to be matured. The technology is still a long way from becoming a panacea for all problems in the health industry, but it offers exciting approaches.

 

Health data

Medicalchain Showcase Video

Medicalchain Showcase Video (Source: Medicalchain)

 

I’ve already written about the health records. It is one of the great challenges for the healthcare industry to record usable data. The spectra in medicine are versatile and only rarely can all combinations be combined. However, the blockchain now offers the possibility to create a secure and decentralized location where all data can be stored cross-system. In this way, information that acts independently of one another can be documented in the first moment and used in the corresponding emergency.

For example, London-based Medicalchain is building a decentralized, blockchain-based platform to securely store health records and share them with doctors, hospitals, laboratories and pharmacists, of course only with the patient’s consent.

 

Increase in efficiency in the healthcare process chain

Proving Provenance with Blockchain (Source: IBM)
Proving Provenance with Blockchain (Source: IBM)

 

Many healthcare professionals complain about the lack of transparency and linkability of individual healthcare systems and networks. This often leads to losses in data exchange, which can lead to a deterioration of the entire operating process.

According to IBM, this problem could be solved using blockchain technology. The technology can improve transparency and interoperability and make the medical process chain more efficient and transparent.

 

Blockchain is not a miracle weapon and its potentials are far from exhausted. The systems are only just being increasingly expanded and a first understanding of the potential of the new technology is emerging in the sectors. But in healthcare, the opportunities are obvious, because few areas require as much efficiency and transparency as the healthcare industry.

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