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Why Blockchain Has Such a Promising Future in Healthcare

Smart contract agreement, blockchain and cryptocurrency, business network concept.

Medical errors are estimated to be the third leading cause of death for Americans, which means improvements in the handling of health data is time critical.

The inefficiencies and unnecessary expenditures of the American healthcare system scream for the secure, high-integrity, neutral third party nature of blockchain. A log of transactions that is replicated and distributed across multiple decentralized locations, blockchain is the perfect mechanism for knowing what data is where and precisely how it’s changing over time.

The Most Promising Use Cases

Health Records

The healthcare system in the United States is so complex and distributed that patient healthcare records are extremely fragmented. Blockchain-based records would provide a reliable place to track changes across the network without concerns about data integration between proprietary systems.

A Master Patient Index (MPI) is surprisingly hard for healthcare organizations to reliably track individuals as they consume healthcare from different sources. A blockchain-based MPI would solve this, allowing patient data like various name spellings, changing addresses and varying insurance providers to be easily tracked and resolved.

Additionally, as a decentralized ledge, blockchain puts ownership in the hands of the patient. This would allow patients to essentially “own” the right to access their individual part of the blockchain, putting them in control of their own data.

Revenue Cycle, Reconciliation and Fraud:

The continuous tracking of the flow of services and money is one of the greatest cost burdens in U.S. healthcare processes. Billions of dollars are expended each year trying to align which patients received what services from which providers and by whose authority, and then even more on settling disputes. Blockchain’s independent architecture could form the foundation of a high integrity tracking capability that is updated in almost real time, resulting in reduced error and fraud.

What’s Next?

Blockchain puts much-needed advances in patient care and secure record keeping within grasp, and not a moment too soon! Learn more about advanced blockchain concepts and applications in healthcare, as well as energy, supply chain, Internet of Things (IoT) and finance, during our two-day live virtual event, Advanced Blockchain for Enterprise. It takes place December 4-5, 2018, offering attendees valuable insight into the future of this innovative technology.

Resources

Bean, Randy. (2 Apr 2018). How Blockchain Is Impacting Healthcare And Life Sciences Today. Forbes.

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