The Role of Blockchain in Healthcare Technology
Blockchain technology has drawn a lot of attention to business and investment, but in the healthcare industry, it is yet to attain its full potential. The Blockchain technology comes with a demand for revolutionary and evolutionary changes that are yet to take effect in the healthcare sector. High-quality care is the objective of health facilities and coupled with the added advantage of affordable costs that lead to service delivery that is focused on the patient.
Blockchain technology refers to the list of linked digital records. Each record is stored after verification by each network participant, based on preset rules. It provides industries with the benefit of making processes more efficient while removing intermediaries. It also makes it possible to collect, store and analyse data on a large scale. In the healthcare industry, this means that patients' data will not only be permanently available, but its access will only be by trusted and authorised people. While information can be added to the data, deleting or copying is impossible.
The application of Blockchain also presents other benefits to the healthcare industry. Biopharmaceutical companies can use Blockchain to monitor and track products. Other bits of information included with the flow of products are certain biologics. For example, sensors used in a shipment to monitor the temperature of the products transmit the data to the Blockchain, which helps in guarding against substandard or counterfeit products. Biopharma manufacturers have also benefited from Blockchain by capturing and recording interactions with regulators.
Another benefit of the Blockchain technology to the healthcare industry is making is possible for companies to share information generated from clinical trials. Data about adverse reactions and patient demographics can be shared with regulators and sponsors. This system can ease the pace at which consent is tracked and managed across multiple sites, protocols, and systems.
Through Blockchain, it is also possible to ensure that insurance claims are accurate, while preventing fraudulent claims, which is particularly important in Medicaid and Medicare where payments between payers, federal governments, providers, and banks happen. The technology allows for the creation of a smart contract that shows proof of adjudication.
The industry is moving from the hysteria of Blockchain towards the reality of the transformation and opportunities it can create. It is recommendable for the healthcare stakeholders to fully adopt Blockchain, as it might not benefit the few organisations that invest in it in isolation. Changes and transformations may take longer to take root, but they are worth the effort in the long run.