Today we share yet another success tale, courtesy of blockchain, the revolutionizing technology. It’s no secret that blockchain is doing wonders in the industrial transformation of economies. Blockchain is bringing efficiency and transparency in a fashion never seen before, and today we explore the transformation that blockchain could bring to the healthcare sector.
As quoted by an industry specialist, the adoption of blockchain technology to health facilities is the “holy grail” of health and medicine in general. Eliminating bureaucracy and allowing the streamlined tracking of patient records has been a stumbling block to better health services.
Gaps In The Current System
Edward Cole, the Chief Strategy Officer at Atlas City a blockchain software firm highlights the gaps in the current hospital system, pinpointing the lack of standardization of data in the current system as a major concern. He also mentions the insecure networks in the hospital environment such that secure sharing of data from hospital to hospital is a great risk.
Blockchain stands in the gap in allowing doctors to conveniently access a patient’s health records. More so, he doesn’t have to worry about whether it’s up to date or thorough, the technology facilitates this. The doctor is therefore guaranteed that the records are constantly updated on the chain.
Before the blockchain, it was up to the willingness of healthcare providers to share patient’s data. Blockchain will now make the whole procedure seamless and convenient for the patient and the health facility.
Cole also admits that making patients comfortable with sharing their data is already an uphill task. Nonetheless, when done, it vastly improves their experience when it comes to speed and certainty.
Addressing Network Insecurities
The topmost concern of healthcare facilities is the network insecurity. There have been rising concerns on unlawful access and cyber-attacks to healthcare systems.
The HIPAA journal reports that in less than 10 years between 2009 and 2018, there have been over 2540 cases of data breaches in healthcare institutions with more than 500 records being compromised. As a result, 19 million healthcare records have been stolen. This has affected close to 60% of the US population. Today, the breaches are frequent to the rate of one per day.
It’s understandable that patients are suspicious and nervous about how their private data is handled. Institutions are increasingly complacent in handling patient data, and that’s where blockchain comes in.
The distributed ledger technology found in blockchain is the final nail on the intermediaries coffin. The trust given to institutions is now distributed to the customers, care professionals and suppliers validating the network transactions. In addition, they can be accessed in accordance with local and international laws regulating the same.
Reduced Administrative Costs
Perhaps the most significant benefit is the reduction of administrative costs. Tasks conducted before, which were prone to human error are now automated and this is a win to an already short-staffed sector.
These are some of the benefits the healthcare industry is going to enjoy. We have only mentioned a few, we haven’t explored its dapps and smart contracts and their significance in tracking medicine from source to destinations to guard against fraud.
In the end, Cole admits that the technology is not yet fit for enterprise. Nonetheless, it’s only a matter of time before it is fully implemented in the healthcare industry.