Application of Blockchain In the Healthcare Industry
Today, blockchain is everywhere, and the technology has proven time and time again to be innovative and effective for a variety of different organizations. The extensive and secure data management that blockchain offers proves that this technology is ideal for the healthcare and medical sector. But before we dive into the benefits blockchain can provide for healthcare, it is important to address what blockchain is and does.
Essentially, blockchain is a growing list of records, known as ‘blocks’, that are linked together and secured using cryptography. Each record contains both a time-stamp and the transaction data itself, and because it is linked to a previous record, security is maximized. All of the information on the blockchain is shared by members of a private peer-to-peer network and is continually reconciled. Because information is shared between various parties, a blockchain acts as an open ledger in which multiple parties can access and record information simultaneously. Additionally, it is important to note that a blockchain database is not stored in one single location, therefore having no centralized versions of information that is vulnerable to hackers.
Blockchain was originally created in 2008 for Bitcoin by a person (or group) going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, but is now proving to be an incredibly effective platform for a variety of different institutions to utilize. Within the healthcare industry alone, a blockchain database can provide many benefits. The healthcare industry is run on a great deal of critical and confidential information that forms the basis of service. Currently, much of the needed information in healthcare is scattered and sometimes difficult to find when needed the most. The application of blockchain in the medical field has the ability to transform the way information is accessed. Four benefits of utilizing a blockchain database will further outline the importance of the technology in the healthcare sector.
1. Validity of Medical Records
Due to the multi-institutional nature of the healthcare industry, often times important information is missing or inaccurate in times when needed the most. With the use of a blockchain database, medical records will be able to be consistently verified and accessed across many healthcare providers and treatment facilities. Therefore, with the use of blockchain, institutions not only save a great deal of time, but also ensure that patient and/or medical information is accurate and available whenever needed.
2. Important for Medical Research
Blockchain’s ability to allow multiple parties to access and report data has also been proven to be very helpful for medical researchers. In fact, researchers greatly benefit from the ability to see valid and accurate information to help with pointing out any public health risks, develop better treatments and ensuring more precise medicine. Blockchain databases have made it much easier to share an abundant amount of information to different institutions.
3. Safe Data Management
As mentioned above, since the records in a blockchain database are linked to each other, is non centralized, and any information stored is permanent, it is very hard to modify the data already stored in any of the blocks, therefore information becomes much less vulnerable to some threats. Similar to financial transactions, encrypted records are available to everybody, but it is only the owner of the health record that has the access to decipher the information.
4. Supply Chain Management
Any contracts based in blockchain can help healthcare providers track any state changes. Therefore, these healthcare organizations are able to monitor any supply and demand cycles and determine how a change is taking place, if there are any delays, or if anything needs to be changed. As a result, blockchain databases allows these healthcare facilities to identify any process errors in order to pave way for increased innovation.
The implementation of blockchain within the healthcare industry largely depends on the willingness of these organizations to accept the technology. While it may be costly, the implementation of blockchain in healthcare has taken the industry by storm and has proven to have many benefits. If your institution is interested in applying blockchain to your business, it is beneficial to contact a custom software development studio, such as Evenset, to assist you with your web and mobile application development!