Over the years, various industries have increasingly started implementing projects on blockchains owing to the many benefits associated with them. Be it governments around the world or gaming companies developing new-age multiplayer games, blockchains have played their part as a catalyst for better, more transparent, and efficient projects.
The best outcome of a project implemented on a blockchain- decentralization- has revolutionized how a project is implemented, without requiring a third party to oversee and facilitate transactions. A blockchain’s underlying distributed ledger technology has given rise to more trusted, secure transactions between even two anonymous parties. The payment mechanism through tokens and cryptos has also enabled users to sell and exchange assets on the blockchain with the help of native tokens.
Though blockchain projects are still in a nascent stage worldwide, the potential of transforming traditional industries via blockchain is quite evident, as confirmed by experts. For instance, healthcare, being such an important and sensitive industry, always needs new-age revolutionary technologies to restructure existing systems and improve them. People around the world are entitled to safe and affordable healthcare. Let us see through this blog how blockchain in healthcare would help transform the industry around the world.
Opportunities Of Blockchain In Healthcare
There are various uses of blockchain in healthcare. As an ever-evolving industry, blockchain needs to be enhanced by blockchain in various domains of healthcare, such as patient data, records, diagnostic laboratories, etc. Blockchain for healthcare is also essential for enhanced security and efficiency of data delivery to all stakeholders in the industry, from doctors and patients to pharmaceutical companies, governments, etc.
Blockchain in healthcare would also increase accountability and enforce a more patient-centric outlook. Healthcare systems in many parts of the world face data collection, sharing, and security issues. Lack of access to accurate factual data can be overcome by blockchain in healthcare, with transparent patient surveys, and more. Blockchain for healthcare can also enhance research and development through efficient data delivery and blockchain application in medical supply chains.
It has become even more important post the pandemic to explore the various uses of blockchain in healthcare. Tracking various diseases or epidemics in any remote corner of the world is crucial to preventing any pandemic in the future of the scale of Covid-19. We can thus summarize from the above a list of potential areas where one can implement blockchain in healthcare:
- Efficient hospital data management, including that of patients, tests, trials, and more.
- Reducing scope for errors in efficient data delivery with enhanced security and transparency of data. Involving all stakeholders in healthcare equally through decentralization would lead to a more patient-centric approach.
- Increased access to accurate data for research and development through transparent patient surveys, etc. which experts can track.
- A complete overhaul of medical supply chains, with better traceability for pharmaceutical products and drugs.
- Blockchain in healthcare shall help in transparent clinical trials with efficient delivery of results to all stakeholders, such as governments, experts, and the general public leading to better formulation of schemes and policies for the future.
A few more real-world applications for blockchain in healthcare are listed below:
- Reduction of extra costs: Blockchain in healthcare has a huge scope of reducing unnecessary overhead costs. This would help trickle down the benefits to patients, making healthcare more affordable. The healthcare industry faces some of the highest inflationary trends at present. To reduce costs, it is essential to counter this with efficient technologies such as blockchain.
- Blockchain in IoT: This is another aspect of healthcare where blockchain can disrupt existing systems. One is well aware that IoT devices are used extensively in hospitals to monitor patients’ health, alert doctors and nurses in case of emergencies, and more such jobs. IoT devices are also used in diagnostic laboratories to detect diseases. Blockchain can improve the application of IoT devices’ data by enhancing the security of stored data. Due to its cryptographic nature, only users authorized in the blockchain could access it, removing chances of tampering with data, etc. IoT devices could also interact with each other directly without using a third party or server to transfer the data, reducing incidents of digital attacks.
- Seamless verification of healthcare professionals and organizations: To reduce frauds and scams in the healthcare industry, blockchain protocols can be used to verify the credentials of healthcare professionals transparently and also of new healthcare research organizations or hospitals.
- Transforming the insurance industry: The insurance industry is commonly plagued by disputes and settlement issues. Using the concept of smart contracts in blockchains, efficient transactions could take place in hospitals, which could benefit everyone, from the patient to the hospital and insurance company. The question of using loopholes to take advantage of either party illegally reduces drastically through the usage of smart contracts.
The main hurdle stopping blockchain implementation in healthcare is the need for more experts. The blockchain and crypto industry has faced some challenging times recently, but experts are confident of the widespread acceptance of blockchain in various industries. It is inevitable to accept new technologies to evolve with changing times constantly, and as explained in this blog, the uses of blockchain in healthcare far exceed the reservations some may have. Blockchain for healthcare is soon expected to transform the industry completely!