Blockchain has the potential to disrupt healthcare, but the industry is filled with challenges and uncertainties. It’s hard to analyze which blockchain healthcare use cases are most important or how to prioritize and allocate resources in this emerging space — but we’re here to help!
The following infographic offers insights into the top blockchain healthcare use cases worldwide.
The healthcare industry is plagued by security and privacy concerns. By utilizing blockchain technology, healthcare organizations can create a secure, decentralized platform for storing and sharing data.
Additionally, blockchain can help reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and promote transparency within the healthcare industry.
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Table of Contents
Following are The Top Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare
- Faster Transactions: One of the benefits of blockchain technology is that it can help speed up transactions. In the healthcare industry, this can be beneficial in several ways. For example, if you’re a doctor and need to order a prescription for a patient, the process can be faster with blockchain. Blockchain can also help streamline claims processing and reimbursement.
- Security: With healthcare data breaches becoming more common, security is a top concern for both patients and providers. Blockchain technology helps mitigate the risk of data breaches by providing a secure, decentralized platform for storing and sharing data.
- Data Integrity: Data integrity is one of the most critical aspects of healthcare. By storing data on a blockchain, you can be sure that it has not been tampered with or altered in any way. Each block in the chain is encrypted & gets linked to the previous one. Additionally, blockchain provides a permanent record of all data changes, which can be helpful for auditing purposes.
- Decentralization: By its very nature, blockchain allows for a more distributed and secure way of storing data. It is beneficial in the healthcare industry, where sensitive patient data is often stored centrally. With blockchain, this data can be spread out across a network of computers, making it more secure and less vulnerable to hacks.
- Improved Compliance: The healthcare industry is highly regulated, and compliance is a top priority. Blockchain technology can help improve compliance by providing a tamper-proof, immutable data record. It automatically proves helpful in tracking patient data, medical records, and more.
- Traceability: If you work in healthcare, you know that traceability is essential. Every patient needs to be accounted for, and every piece of equipment needs to be sterilized. That’s where blockchain comes in. Blockchain technology can help with traceability in healthcare by providing a secure, decentralized way to track patients and equipment.
- Incorporating Transparency: One thing to note is that many organizations consider sensitive personal data, such as medical records, off limits because patients want their privacy protected at all costs.
How Does Blockchain Work?
A blockchain can be understood as a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency-based transactions. Each block contains a cryptographic-based hash of the previous block, a timestamp, & transaction data. The technology relies on strong cryptography for security reasons.
Hashes (a string of characters) is used along with public key encryption (which also uses hashes) to securely store data so that only someone who knows the private key can read it or spend money from an account. In addition, hashing cannot be undone. So, once a record has been entered into the database, there’s no way to alter it without changing the following records.
Overall, it has three significant aspects:
- Distributed Network: The blockchain network isn’t stored on any centralized server. Instead, information about the network is spread across different computers on an encrypted decentralized peer-to-peer network.
- Shared Ledger: Blockchain provides a single shared source of truth where every participant shares and stores the same data. For example, if multiple parties enter orders for stock, then those orders become part of the blockchain. So, both parties can see the order history, current status, and price quotes. As more people enter records into the system, they’re confirmed by participants each time they’re added to what are called blocks. If you try to change your copy, you’ll create an entirely new block since each time a transaction occurs, all participants update their copy. So, everyone needs to agree before one can make changes.
- Digital Transactions: All transactions are recorded publicly and transparently, making them fraud-resistant while maintaining user privacy. Business contracts can be automatically executed when the terms have been met – streamlining business processes while decreasing costs.
Additionally, smart contracts allow us to transact online with others anonymously while removing traditional third-party intermediaries like lawyers or escrow agents because everything is automated through lines of code on the blockchain itself.
We’ve put together five compelling blockchain healthcare use cases that will likely take off in the next few years and dramatically impact the healthcare industry.
Read on to analyze how you can get ahead of the curve and drive better care outcomes while improving efficiency and reducing costs.
1. Electronic Health Records
Project example: MTBC
Project status: The project’s available on MTBC’s official website.
According to a study by Critical Insight in 2021, data breaches against healthcare organizations increased by 84% from 2018 to 2021. It is a huge problem, as it puts patients at risk and exposes sensitive information to those who could exploit it.
Blockchain has the potential to solve this problem by creating a secure, decentralized way to store and share medical records. Not only does it make it more complex for hackers to access sensitive information, but it would also gives patients more control.
Blockchain-based health records allow patients and doctors to share medical records without fear of hacking or misuse securely. Patients can grant permission to hospitals, labs, and other providers to securely view specific types of their personal health information, like lab results or allergy lists, from a smartphone app or website with just one click.
With blockchain-based patient-controlled electronic health records, the benefits are better coordination between providers and fewer redundant tests, which can be costly for patients. Healthcare providers can reduce administrative costs related to storing paper copies of health records because all healthcare interactions are recorded digitally on the blockchain. It increases security and reduces liability for breaches since no third-party company stores your data on its servers.
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2. Drug Supply Chain Integrity
Project example: Chronicled, MediLedger
Project status: Project is live.
By creating an immutable record of a drug’s journey from manufacturer to patient, blockchain helps ensure that patients receive safe, effective medications.
In addition to protecting patients, drug supply chain integrity can also help pharmaceutical companies avoid costly recalls and litigation. And with worldwide supply chains becoming increasingly complex, the need for this type of transparency will only grow.
In conjunction with pharmacies, users of the blockchain system can pinpoint the source of drugs and control, avoid, or prevent suspicious, illegal activities such as drug trafficking and product tampering.
3. War Against Counterfeit Drugs
Project example: FarmaTrust
Project status: FarmaTrust token is currently listed on Liquid
The global pharmaceutical market is under constant threat from counterfeit drugs. It’s estimated that counterfeit drugs make up $200 billion in revenue, according to Statista. It’s not just big pharma that’s affected. Counterfeit drugs put patients at risk.
With blockchain technology, medicines can be tagged with a QR code and then stored on an immutable ledger. When scanned by pharmacists or doctors, this creates an unforgeable record of provenance, assuring both parties that the drug is real and hasn’t been tampered with.
Blockchain technology also offers heightened data security and faster product recall processes when something goes wrong. What’s more, many experts believe this will lead to fewer instances of counterfeiting together. You can use the technology to track the entire development cycle of the drugs, right from sourcing its raw materials to processing and manufacturing, packaging, and distribution to delivery points.
A smart contract (self-executing digital agreement) ensures transparency during every step of the process and accountability in case of issues like quality control lapses or mishandling. Manufacturers and distributors can reduce their inventory costs significantly because they would not need to hold stock until demand peaks due to a lack of accurate forecasting tools.
They could simply sell based on production schedules using blockchains. Patients could even manage their health records securely through blockchain applications without having to share their personal information with anyone else.
4. Tracking Medical Credentials
Entities involved: Hashed Health
Project status: Project is live
In a world where anything is moving digital, it’s no surprise that medical credentials are also becoming digital at a rapid pace. Blockchain can provide a way to store and manage medical credentials that are secure, efficient, and cost-effective.
In 2023, we predict that more hospitals and clinics will use blockchain to track medical credentials. Tracking medical credentials via blockchain facilitates quicker access to patient records, less waiting time in doctors’ offices, and reduced human error.
And by storing them on the blockchain instead of on paper or in an electronic file cabinet, these records can never be lost or stolen – giving patients more peace of mind and doctors quicker access to their patients’ histories. Moreover, significant sums can be saved otherwise invested on hardcopies of documents, which are prone to wear and tear.
5. Enhancing Data Security
Project example: Guardtime
Project status: Project is Live
Enhancing data security is one of the most common blockchain healthcare use cases. It facilitates the storage and sharing of sensitive data while simultaneously offering an audit trail, which can be used to detect fraud and tampering with the records. Organizations are increasingly looking at leveraging blockchain to secure their data and processes because it offers a more efficient method to manage it cost-effectively.
So healthcare institutions such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which have begun exploring ways to employ blockchain technology to improve record keeping, are taking notice. Hiring blockchain developers enables enterprises to build an advanced system that could save time and money by efficiently managing your information.
Some hospitals employ Blockchain networks like Guardtime’s Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) so patients’ medical data can remain private but still shareable among doctors, insurers, and other relevant parties who need access.
The VA has been working on integrating blockchain into its infrastructure since 2017, leveraging it for distributed databases, point-of-care equipment, clinical research management systems, and real-time interoperability solutions.
Companies like Guardtime partner with businesses of all sizes to help them develop enterprise-grade solutions which protect their data from cyber threats. Blockchain healthcare use cases will grow exponentially over the next few years, meaning now is the time to start learning about what this new technology offers!
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With blockchain, healthcare institutions can be sure that their information is accurate and accessible. Plus, you’ll be able to share your information with potential employers with ease. With blockchain, you’ll be able to track your medical credentials easily and securely.
While blockchain-based solutions require higher investment, you can tackle them with proper planning. Outsourcing the project to a blockchain company in India lets you experience highly affordable solutions while getting mature support.