What blockchain technology can do for healthcare

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What blockchain technology can do for healthcare

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology
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Highlights

  • Blockchain technology is also referred to as ‘digital ledger’
  • A blockchain has the potential to verify the authenticity of medicines, and their movement, right from the point of origin till they reach consumers
  • Each new record can be added to a blockchain if the patient owning the data provides their consent

Blockchain technology, also referred to as a ‘digital ledger’, stores transactional records in the form of blocks in public databases connected through peer-to-peer nodes.

A decentralised structure is the major feature of a blockchain. It provides several benefits such as fidelity, speed, traceability, reduced costs, and improved security.

Important concepts and definitions related to blockchain

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Understanding the blockchain process

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Do read: NOV, TYM, DCC, SMX, FFG: Top five blockchain stocks on ASX

Blockchain in healthcare

The healthcare sector is becoming more complex as it becomes more knowledge based; a wide range of instruments and processes also makes it more prone to errors. As a result, having flexible and digitised knowledge and a data management system is critical. Patients' interest in accessing their own health information is growing rapidly, demanding growth in such a unified system.

A blockchain can highly reduce the cost and create new ways for patients to access healthcare. One of the major problems of the medical sector is its inability to share and access sensitive patient data. The use of blockchain technology will allow health information systems to work together within and across organisational boundaries to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.

Supply-chain transparency in pharmaceuticals

A blockchain has the potential to verify the authenticity of medicines, and their movement, right from the point of origin till they reach consumers.

Firstly, every drug is marked with a unique code and the data is stored in a blockchain. The drug then reaches the wholesaler, who verifies the origin of the drug. Next, a pharmacist verifies the drug before sending it to the final consumer and upon receiving it, the patient can also verify the drug. Transactions involved in subsequent processes are added to the blockchain.

Secure access to health records by patients and their healthcare providers

Medical record systems linked to a blockchain can be linked to existing medical record software, which can provide a single view of a patient’s record. Each new record can be added to the blockchain if the patient owning data provides their consent.

Benefits

  • A unified, single source of medical records
  • Saves time and the cost of intermediary in accessing data
  • Helps in further development of analytics

The application and integration of blockchain in healthcare could save huge costs related to information technology operations, support functions and the breach of health data.

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