A streamlined, cost-effective healthcare system requires efficient sharing of information between legacy systems. However, systems storing critical healthcare data often operate in silos. Even worse, they can be easy to hack.
A report from BIS Research observes, “Less than 10% of healthcare organizations regularly share medical information with providers outside of their organization. The lack of interoperability and limited linkage between healthcare storage systems makes it difficult to transmit, retrieve, clean, and analyze data. Thus, most of the data is contained in silos. Additionally, there are widespread concerns regarding security and privacy about storage and exchange of data as healthcare organizations have been subjected to a growing number of data breaches and malicious attacks.“
Blockchain for Healthcare Data
Securely storing and sharing healthcare data for a variety of scenarios is a perfect use case for blockchain. Instead of keeping data locked away in legacy systems, sharing anonymized data with researchers as well as giving various healthcare providers immediate access to patient records can improve patient outcomes while exponentially advancing healthcare research.
Furthermore, if artificial intelligence had access to this data, it could help make connections that humans would not be able to achieve alone given the sheer volume of data to be processed.
The industry agrees that blockchain is an important solution for healthcare data. In fact, BIS Research expects blockchain for information sharing to reach a value of $1.89 billion by 2025.
Additional Blockchain Benefits
There are other advantages to using blockchain to store and transmit data within the healthcare system:
- Pharmaceutical companies lose $200 billion per year due to counterfeit drugs. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10% of medical products in low- and middle-income countries are substandard or falsified. If blockchain were integrated into the healthcare supply chain, it would allow companies to track shipments in order to reduce counterfeit drugs.
- Healthcare fraud is expensive, costing the U.S. between $68 and $230 billion annually. Blockchain can help companies streamline IT and operational costs while reducing fraud.
It is a worthwhile investment for healthcare organizations to explore information technology projects that allow them to share data via blockchain. It will improve patient outcomes, advance medical knowledge, and reduce fraud. The increased efficiencies and long-term cost savings will increase the bottom line while improving healthcare overall for patients.
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Donovan, Fred. (18 Jul 2019). Healthcare Blockchain Could Save Industry $100B Annually by 2025. HIT Infrastructure.
(Mar 2017). Fraud Statistics. Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan.
(28 Nov 2017). 1 in 10 medical products in developing countries is substandard or falsified. World Health Organization.