Redefining Healthcare Through Blockchain: The Next Era of Medical Innovation

Gigster
|
August 22, 2023
Blockchain in Healthcare

We’re in an era defined by faster and faster advancements in technology, and the healthcare industry has the opportunity to tap into it with blockchain technology—a dynamic force reshaping healthcare delivery, data management, and patient outcomes. As the intricate web of healthcare practitioners, providers, and treatment plans grows ever more complex, the urgency to exchange accurate information while safeguarding patient privacy has never been more crucial. 

Blockchain is best known as the public ledger that powers cryptocurrency, but it has steadily gained a reputation for being so much more than a financial tool. It’s elevating the healthcare industry as a vital support system, offering an array of transformative benefits that usher in a new era of innovation and efficiency.

It can securely share patient data, combat fraud, and counterfeiting, and improve clinical trials by ensuring data integrity. Because Blockchain can track the progression of countless transactions and protect that data from prying eyes without losing its transparency, it gives the healthcare industry the potential to be more efficient, secure, and transparent.

The Benefits of Blockchain in the Healthcare Industry 

Blockchain mainly transforms healthcare by providing much-needed support to a vast network of professionals. When a single patient can have multiple providers and treatment plans, it’s becoming more imperative than ever to share accurate data without compromising the patient’s privacy.

Blockchain excels in providing the following for practitioners of every variety:

Fortifying Data Security

There have been a lot of advancements in cybersecurity and privacy regulations, but when data is centralized, it increases the odds of data leaks more than administrators would like.

Blockchain emerged as a formidable guardian, employing encryption techniques to secure patient files and distributing them across an immutable, decentralized network. Doing so thwarts meticulously planned attempts at data compromise, ensuring the integrity of critical records. Encrypting data, including patient files, and then distributing the information across multiple locations makes it so hackers can't access it.

Read More: Revolutionizing Healthcare: The Transformative Power of AI

Enabling Seamless Communication

Robust security controls should work to keep criminals out, but they shouldn’t be a barrier for fellow practitioners. Blockchain makes it possible securely and efficiently access patient data on demand (with the patient’s permission). Adhering to updated privacy regulations, such as HIPAA, blockchain facilitates streamlined communication among healthcare stakeholders, fostering a new era of coordinated care.

Accelerating Clinical Trials

The intricate process of clinical trials often faces hurdles like consent, sample size, collection methodology, and side effects, all of which can be corrupted along the way. Blockchain provides a transparent and verifiable mechanism for sharing and validating trial documentation. Tracking every step with unprecedented precision expedites trials while minimizing errors, instilling confidence in the credibility of outcomes.

24/7 Data Monitoring

Blockchain was built for 360° monitoring – all day, every day. Every time data is changed, it’s given a new identification, making it nearly impossible to dupe the legit actors in the system successfully. 

The original data is validated through timestamped blocks. Plus, consensus mechanisms are built into the program to ensure that all data aligns. If there are discrepancies, either due to unintentional errors or criminal activity, healthcare administrators can be alerted immediately.

Billing Management

Navigating the labyrinth that is patient billing demands meticulous oversight. Blockchain offers more than mere automation; it can be a robust framework for verifying insurance, processing payments, and payment models. By orchestrating seamless financial transactions, blockchain drives efficiency and accuracy in healthcare economics.

Scalability for a Dynamic Industry

Healthcare is constantly changing, with new policies, regulations, networks, and expansions happening at a record-breaking pace all over the world. Blockchain scales the data crush and reduces security concerns as organizations evolve.

The Benefits of Blockchain in the Healthcare Industry 

Blockchain is still relatively new, and organizations understandably hesitate to disrupt workflows. However, companies like IBM are already working with different organizations to develop solutions that fit their needs. This includes everything from drug supply management to patient identification. 

For instance, a company recently wanted to bridge the gap with the exchange of information within the healthcare industry so they engaged Gigster to build and implement the blockchain infrastructure leveraging IBM’s Hyperledger, which ensures the exchange of information between providers is safe and secure.

Another example would be at Baptist Health in Kentucky; [1] the 9-hospital system uses blockchain pharmaceutical technology to verify all products are being purchased at the correct contract price. When they order approximately 40,000 products, this technology has the ability to save the hospital precious time and money.

Here are some other ways that healthcare is implementing different programs:

Traceability

Blockchain makes it possible to track a single product throughout the entire supply chain, making it possible to identify counterfeits and ensure quality standards.

Records

When patients have more control over their own medical records, it can lead to a sense of control over their health. By crafting better solutions for both provider and patient, it can make for more robust data that are also accessible to those who need it most.

Learn how Docket revolutionized its meeting management platform with the help of Gigster.

Prescription Monitoring

With 16 million people abusing prescriptions, [2] providers must catch these patterns as quickly as possible. With blockchain, issues before they turn into life-threatening addictions.

Genomics Sharing

The data collected for human genomics is not only vast, it’s rife with privacy concerns. Blockchain ensures safe sharing between providers and sets up a system that allows everyone to compare and contrast data for better insights.

Credential Verification

Verifying a patient's identity is essential, but validating the provider's identity is equally important. More than a million people in the US hold healthcare licenses, and blockchain can help providers in different locations validate who they're working with.

The Future of Blockchain 

Traditional centralized data storage methods must be revised to keep up with modern needs; blockchain may be in its infancy, but its versatility and real-world results are causing many people to take note.

In the future, blockchain will likely be combined with artificial intelligence capabilities to improve its functionality within healthcare. It can also be integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT), so providers can update and access data from all their devices.


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Embracing the Blockchain Revolution in Healthcare 

Blockchain technology in healthcare has the ability to revamp healthcare as we know it. By connecting providers and patients alike, everyone in the system can rest a little easier about their quality of care. 

Specialists can access critical data. Patients can take prescription drugs without worrying about counterfeits. Researchers can collect and record data that fuel breakthroughs. Administrators can drastically cut back on their odds of a ransom demand.

A decentralized platform distributes the data in a way that shuts out the wrong people and reduces the countless discrepancies that patients and providers see daily. Healthcare organizations that embrace this technology will be best positioned for future success.

Explore Blockchain's Potential in Healthcare 

Gigster’s expert blockchain developers craft customized solutions to meet your unique healthcare needs, ensuring seamless integration with your existing systems. Our teams have completed over 5,000 projects and maintain a customer satisfaction score of above 90%. Our model enables customers to mitigate risk by providing a white-glove managed project process to stay on track and on budget without hiring expensive in-house resources or sacrificing quality. 

We specialize in internal enterprise applications, AI/ML, blockchain, and mission-critical infrastructure. We’re trusted by global brands like Harley Davidson, Vodafone, Colgate, Total Energies, YMCA, Microsoft, Nike, Delta, and more.  

Let us help you power your next project.

Resources:


[1] Baptist Health. (2023). Baptist Health partners with MediLedger for contract management to ensure correct pricing. [online] Available at: https://www.baptisthealth.com/about/news-center/2023/baptist-health-partners-with-mediledger-for-contract-management-to-ensure-correct-pricing

[2] Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics [online] National Center for Drug Abuse Statistic Available at: https://drugabusestatistics.org/prescription-drug-abuse-statistics/

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