Healthcare has always been a top priority, and a big chunk of a country's budget goes to supporting the backbone of the medical industry. Healthcare is expected to account for up to 20% of the US economy. [1]

Even though medical science has advanced rapidly over the decades, the system still relies on antiquated data handling mechanisms. That's where blockchain comes in.

Blockchain technology has the potential to change the way healthcare is managed. Let's look at how a decentralized, secure digital ledger can transform the healthcare industry.

Blockchain in Healthcare: The Revolution That is Happening Right Now

There's a lot of talk about blockchain right now. The blockchain is here to stay, whether it's Bitcoin, Ethereum, or the technology underlying them all. In healthcare, blockchain is making waves and can transform the industry as we know it. A blockchain is a type of decentralized database. The technology allows information to be stored in multiple copies on many different computer systems.

In healthcare, blockchain can store electronic health records (EHRs). At the same time, it's also being implemented to transfer funds between providers and suppliers. The use cases for blockchain in healthcare are endless, but it all boils down to decentralization.

Patients have control over their data and medical records by storing them on a secure ledger that healthcare providers and insurance companies can't change or manipulate. A decentralized medical record data allows patients greater control over their data and the providers they engage with.

What is the need for blockchain in healthcare?

A big problem that blockchain solves is making healthcare more transparent. In order to achieve this, the blockchain creates an open and distributed ledger of transactions that anyone can access and verify the accuracy of the terms. Blockchain can also make research more efficient by making it easier to keep track of research data without having to fill out paper forms.

How Can We Use It to Make Better Decisions in Healthcare?

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  • Increased Efficiency: Blockchain makes it easy for hospitals to share information like test results with other doctors through an electronic ledger without relying on centralized systems like paper files or faxes. Blockchain also allows hospitals to track all of their patients' medical history and share essential data with insurance companies, so they have a complete picture of a patient's health status before making any significant decisions about reimbursements. More importantly, digitizing medical data helps save lives because it lets doctors access data from anywhere with internet access.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Blockchain ensures patient privacy because all information collected is encrypted, so any party or entity involved in the process cannot see what they need to know without permission.
  • Cost Saving: Blockchain technology enables healthcare organizations and providers to save costs. Improvements in information technology, especially the ability to record and store information quickly and cheaply and to send it safely between different applications and systems, are key to making healthcare services work well. Blockchain can help overcome the flaws and issues that come with older systems and save up to $100 billion in global healthcare costs. [2]

Projects Set to Change Healthcare

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Ubitquity: This blockchain company is a medical ID and healthcare record management platform. Ubitquity allows users to control their healthcare data and share it with their doctors. [3]

Patientory: Blockchain networks let businesses have both openness and privacy, so they can hide patient data when they don't need to share it and let people see it when they do. Attackers would need a lot of computing power just to try to attack a blockchain-powered network that is protected by cutting-edge security technologies. This would make attacks much less likely, effective, and common.

Patientory takes advantage of this by making apps and services for patients that give them more control over their health. They can give you up-to-date patient histories and data, track and report on pandemics, and put you in touch with certified health workers in a safe way. [4]

Healthverity: Healthverity uses blockchain to develop a platform for negotiating rebates and managing contracts. Healthverity helps providers and payers make contracts that are creative, efficient, and safe by setting up technology that does this work automatically. [5]

Conclusion

The future of blockchain in healthcare is optimistic, as it is already changing how patients and providers interact with each other and how data is being stored and transformed.  As time goes on, the technology will continue to develop and become more reliable and trustworthy. In turn, this will lead to more widespread adoption and even further innovation. It will help us make better decisions and provide better patient care. In these uncertain times, when people's lives are the most important thing, putting blockchain to use in healthcare can be a big help.

References:
[1] Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care, https://on.wsj.com/3HJrLG4.
[2] Healthcare Blockchain Could Save the Industry $100B Annually by 2025, https://bit.ly/3MkjQm5.
[3] Ubitquity Healthcare Solutions, https://bit.ly/35vYjWM
[4] Patientory: Blockchain for Secure Peer-to-Peer Medical Records, https://bit.ly/3vDLg07.
[5] Healthverity, Simplify Contract Management, https://bit.ly/3hHBJNr.