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How Blockchain Can Influence Healthcare Industry

Sai Kumar

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The internet consent baby photos and cat videos across the globe instantly, but many important things still move slowly, It can take days to send money across borders, for example, banks must rely on mediators to check transactions a valid. Blockchain might get important moving stuff faster by helping organizations work together more efficiently.

A blockchain is a digital record or ledger like a database, it can securely store and verify data about the world, like who owns money or property. Built-in cryptography ensures that only people who are authorized to do so can make changes to the data. Blockchains can be operated by many people or organizations working together.

A shared secured system makes more comfortable for the companies to collaborate when data is stuck inside walled-off private databases. Digital currency bitcoin is built on the blockchain powered by thousands of computers around the world, and anyone can use bitcoin software to send or receive payments, no bank required.

Transferring the real money around the world has become faster and secure nowadays, this is the reason many companies are adopting systems similar to the blockchain. Blockchains can help move more than just money; they might make electronic health records more portable.

For example, if some health providers could join the operator the blockchain, it could be more comfortable for the patients to transfer the records from place to place. The security features of blockchains could aid in the detection of errors and the patient’s files. Government and organizations like the UN are also investigating how blockchains can have humanitarian applications, like providing financial infrastructure by people not served by banks.

Applying Blockchain to Healthcare

Data exchange is the first use cases that come to mind when we start discussing Blockchain and Healthcare. Taking an example of prescribing medicines, medications are frequently filled and prescribed by different parties for a patient i.e: pharmacies, offices, provider, hospitals.

Each and every one has to maintain its own “source of truth” of patient medications, simply wrong information or frequently with outdated. Taking this into consideration providers in different EHRs or in various networks, may not be able to see each other’s prescriptions. Reliably, electronic prescriptions must be forwarded to certain pharmacies, and manual prescriptions can be lost or duplicated.

To overcome these struggles, a medication prescription which is nothing but blockchain is considered a shared source of truth. Each and every event would be shared and known by those who are authorized to see it. This would allow prescriptions to be scripted digitally without specifying prescriptions or a pharmacy to be partly filled ( and completely filled later on by a different pharmacy). As the blockchain is considered as the source of truth, every pharmacy sees all the events encompassing that prescription, and act accordingly.

Certain healthcare providers will have an immediate view of the patient’s current medications, ensuring fidelity and accuracy.

Below are some of the different ways in which healthcare make use of Blockchain:

Clinical data sharing

Pathology reports, advance directives, allergies, problem lists and imaging studies are just a few of the data elements which can be distributed. Rather than saving the actual data of the patient, even if the EHR stores the clinical data itself, blockchain could be used to store access controls.

Public health

A distributed, Immutable flow of un-identified patient data could immediately identify pandemics, self-reliant governmental bodies currently accumulating this data. Eg: Influenza reporting system.

Clinical trials and research

Sharing patient consent or trial event could foster audit trials, data sharing, and clinical safety analyses.

Patient and provider identity

Identities of national or international providers could be kept safe in the blockchain, providing the support for health data security and portability.

Administrative and financial information

Claims processing workflows and Insurance eligibility could benefit from blockchain and have minimized transactional costs.

Patient-generated data

IOT devices, personal health devices, “wearables,” and patient-reported outcomes are just a few examples of Patient-generated data that could take advantage of blockchain for sharing and security.

Conclusion

The majority of these utilization cases are top-down: information utilized and created for the benefit of patients. But perhaps the capability of blockchain innovation is to enable patients to claim and accumulate their own information. From numerous points of view, the guarantee of blockchain lies outside the present health information innovation framework, directly imposing the isolated, saving centralized information that dominates the healthcare industry.

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