Blockchain Applications in Healthcare

Block Chain Applications in Healthcare?

The decentralized character of sensitive health information can bring about emergencies where immediate information is unavailable, aggravating health outcomes. Besides, as patient involvement in health care increases, there is a thriving need for patients to access and control their data.
Thus, comes the concept of blockchain in action.

Blockchain is a secure, decentralized online ledger that could use electronic health records (EHRs) efficiently, with the prospect of enhancing health outcomes by creating a conduit for interoperability. Blockchain technology even makes it easy to track a drug as it rolls from the manufacturer to the patient. This increases the traceability of a drug as it moves across the supply chain and helps prevent drug counterfeiting. In the present system, security and trust are the most typical concerns businesses share regarding the information shared between different entities. Technology can infiltrate data anywhere along the line of communication, leading to trust issues, especially in the healthcare industry. Since blockchains are cryptographically secure and the data present within the ledger can be verified using a digital signature that is individual to each person; this technology could be the answer to most of these

Five blockchain healthcare use cases in digital health:

1. Supply chain transparency:

A significant challenge across the healthcare sector, as in numerous others, is guaranteeing the origin of medical goods to confirm their genuineness. Using a blockchain-based procedure to track items from the manufacturing point and at each stage via the supply chain gives customers complete visibility
and transparency of the goods they buy. This is a top emphasis for the industry, especially in developing markets where fake prescription
medicines cause thousands of deaths annually. It is also increasingly important for medical devices, which are increasing fast with the adoption of more remote healthiness monitoring, and, therefore, also attracting the interest of bad actors.

2. Patient-centric electronic health records:

Healthcare systems in every nation and region are toiling with the problem of data siloes, implying that patients and their healthcare providers have an insufficient view of medical histories. In 2016, Johns Hopkins University published research revealing that the third leading cause of death in the US was medical errors resulting from inadequately coordinated care, such as planned actions not being completed as calculated or errors of omission in patient records.
One probable solution to this problem is creating a blockchain-based system for medical records that
can be merged with existing electronic medical record software and act as an overarching, single view of a patient’s history. It is crucial to highlight that actual patient data does not go on the blockchain but that each new record is appended to the blockchain, whether a physician’s message, a prescription or a lab.

The result then translates into a unique hash function – a small string of letters and numbers. Every hash the process is unique and can only decode if the person who possesses the data – in this case, the patient –gives their consent.

3. Smart contracts for insurance and supply chain compensations:

Companies such as Chronicled and Curisium provide blockchain-based systems where different players in the healthcare sector, such as pharmaceutical companies, medical apparatuses, OEMs, wholesalers, insurers
and healthcare providers can affirm their identities as organizations, log contract details, and track transactions of goods and services and payment compensation details for those goods and services.
This type of surroundings goes a step beyond supply chain management also to permit trading partners and insurance providers in the healthcare sector to function based on fully digital and, in some cases
automated agreement terms.

4. Medical staff credential verification:

Similar to tracking the origin of a medical good, they also can use blockchain technology to follow the knowledge of medical professionals, where trusted medical institutions and healthcare organizations can log the credentials of their staff, in turn helping to simplify the hiring process for healthcare
organizations. US-based ProCredEx has developed such a medical credential verification technique using the R3 Corda blockchain protocol. The key advantages thus are the faster credentialing for healthcare organizations during the hiring process acts as an opportunity for medical institutions and healthcare providers to monetize their existing credentials data on past and existing staff. Transparency and reassurance for partners, e.g. organizations sub-contracting locum tenens or in emerging virtual health delivery models to inform patients about medical staff knowledge.

5. IoT security for remote monitoring:

One of the most significant tendencies in digital health is the adoption of remote monitoring solutions, where all kinds of sensors calculating patients’ vital signs are being used to help give healthcare practitioners increase
more visibility into patients’ health, enabling more assertive and preventative care. We’ve previously covered many profitable remote monitoring use cases in our pieces on 5G and edge computing in digital health.

However, security is a huge issue in health IoT, ensuring that patient data is private, secure, and not tampered with to create false information. In some cases, the occurrence of emergencies may depend on a connected device, e.g. alerting an older adult’s carer that they have suffered a decline or a heart attack; it is also critical that the supporting systems are very resilient to DDoS or other attacks disrupt service.

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