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How Blockchain Can Transform Healthcare

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Blockchain technology is poised to rapidly transform healthcare worldwide. Over the next seven years, the technology is estimated to undergo a 70% compound annual growth rate in healthcare due to growing data breaches in the industry, found a recent TechSci Research report. North America should see the highest demand, according to Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research-based global management consulting firm.

“North America is the leading region in [the] global blockchain healthcare market, backed by technological advancements and regulations in place for the safety of patient data and delivery of best healthcare services,” Chechi told EIN NEWSDESK. “Moreover, high need for reducing healthcare costs and preventing tampering of medical data is likely to boost demand for blockchain in healthcare in the region over the course of next five years.”

How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Healthcare

Blockchain is critical to healthcare for a number of reasons

Firstly, it allows private information to be securely shared without the need to copy it, which can help reduce mistakes in healthcare records. The data is also time-stamped, which gives it greater security. Blockchain has the ability to securely streamline payments across healthcare environments. This eliminates the need to rely on cumbersome and expensive equipment while drastically reducing costs associated with overhead.

Secondly, blockchain allows research data to be shared between scientists and healthcare researchers around the world, giving them the ability to collaborate on solving complex medical problems and diseases.

Thirdly, blockchain gives scientists and healthcare organizations the ability to crowdfund for research with cryptocurrency. Regulations will be necessary to ensure fairness of financial exchanges throughout the world, but this can help develop access to healthcare for all. 

Lastly, blockchain will give individual healthcare agencies the means to collaborate; thereby giving them a greater ability to reduce worldwide health care disparities while combating diseases.   

Ten Major Challenges Blockchain Integration will Face in Healthcare

According to a new report from research firm PreScouter, there are ten key challenges blockchain must overcome in order to be rolled out within the healthcare, medical technology, and biopharmaceutical industries.

1. Standardizing the data
2. Implementing change management and innovation
3. Interoperability between blockchains
4. Blockchain patents & IP
5. Data security of protected health information (PHI)
6. Scalability of permissive/non-permissive blockchains
7. On-boarding regulatory bodies
8. Deploying smart contracts
9. Cost of operation
10. Blockchain service providers

The report also points out three major life science areas that will be affected by blockchain.

1. Drug manufacturing and supply chain management: Blockchain can create immutable batch records of a drug’s origin and ingredients, which will reduce errors. These records will also be useful during drug recalls. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and IBM are using blockchain to keep batch records of vaccines and prescriptions. 

2. Managing clinical trials: Drug clinic trials are complex. However, there are opportunities for blockchain to simplify them by securely protecting patient data while ensuring transparency and communication for and between patients/study subjects, sponsors, health care professionals, regulators, and other stakeholders.

3. Recording patient data: Blockchain can be leveraged to streamline more complicated patient cases. For example, partnership agreements via “smart contracts” could simplify patient recordings across myriad information caches—from patient consent forms permitting health information management, to data related to prescriptions, claims, billing, etc. 

Blockchain in Your Industry

Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in blockchain technology as it continues to grow. If you’re interested in learning how blockchain could affect your industry, check out Enterprise Blockchain for Healthcare, IoT, Energy, and Supply Chain, a five-course program from IEEE.

To get a license to this online program for your organization, contact an IEEE Content Specialist for more details.

Interested in the program for yourself? View the courses on the IEEE Learning Network, a new learning management platform!

Resources

(26 February 2020). Blockchain in Healthcare Market to Grow at Staggering 70% CAGR until 2027 – TechSci Research. EIN Presswire.

Aunger, Charles. (13 March 2020). ‘Chain’ Reaction: The New Decade Will Bring Blockchain Piloting To Fruition In Healthcare And Beyond. Forbes.

Garg, Ishan. (26 February 2020). How the Global Development Community will Shape the Future of Blockchain in Health Care. Blockmanity.

Joshi, Rakesh. (11 February 2020). How Can Blockchain Be Implemented in the Life Sciences Ecosystem? Technology Networks.

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