From patient-centric hospital networks to higher quality medicine, blockchain technology is revolutionizing healthcare in a number of ways. As discussed in previous posts, blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger of transactions that records data in a way that prevents hacking and altering of data by duplicating transactions and dispersing them to “nodes” across the network.
According to Jose Morey, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Media and Chief Health Officer of Ever Medical Technologies, the secure and transparent nature of blockchain means that it has a number of potential applications in the medical industry. Writing in Forbes, he notes a number of ways that blockchain is already transforming healthcare.
Blockchain Applications That Could Revolutionize Healthcare
Blockchain will allow the medical industry to share and access patient data securely: The technology will “facilitate finely customizable openness while upholding only the best security standards for true interoperability,” Morey writes. This will allow health information systems to “work together within and across organizational boundaries” to enhance healthcare delivery. Chronicled is one company that is already using blockchain to secure patient data.
Blockchain will improve contract negotiations: In the healthcare industry, contract negotiations often get quite complex, which can take up a lot of time as a result. Blockchain, however, is already providing a solution. A company called Curisium uses the technology “to create a platform for rebate negotiation and contract management,” Morey writes. He adds that the platform streamlines traditional processes by allowing “providers and payers to take part in innovative contracting arrangements.”
Blockchain can foster innovation and connect large hospital networks: For example, a company called Ever integrated a “blockchain, data-driven, patient-centric network” within Thailand’s medical system. The technology connected more than 170 hospitals and 5 million patients. “It enables best-in-class security for all connected data and parties while maintaining close and easy communication with trusted parties— all on a flexible, future-proof, scalable blockchain foundation,” Morey says.
Blockchain allows organizations to create both secure and transparent networks: With blockchain technology, hospitals can quickly and easily share patient data in a way that is fully secure. “Protected by state-of-the-art security solutions, attackers would require vast computational capabilities to even attempt targeting a blockchain-powered network, severely limiting the frequency, possibility and effectiveness of attacks,” states Morey. One company utilizing blockchain in this way is Patientory, which develops “patient-centric applications” that provide up-to-date patient histories and data, pandemic tracking and reporting, and secure communication with verified healthcare personnel.
Furthermore, blockchain has the potential to greatly improve the quality of medicine. According to Pharmacy Times, OCEASOFT, a company that makes atmospheric monitors for supply chains, and Chronicled, an Internet of Things- and blockchain-focused supply chain technology business, are working together to implement blockchain for atmospheric monitoring in the drug supply chain. These monitors glean information such as CO2, temperature, and humidity, which is stored in a decentralized ledger. Buyers and sellers can use this secure ledger to monitor the quality of drugs across global supply chains. Such a system would also help prevent fraud and the purchase of expired drugs.
These blockchain transformations are only the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before more industries are harnessing this revolutionary technology.
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Kenney, Skylar. (28 October 2021). The Case for Leveraging Blockchain to Improve the Global Health Supply Chain. Pharmacy Times.
Morey, Jose. (25 October 2021). The Future Of Blockchain In Healthcare. Forbes.