There is a need for a revolution in the healthcare system as there is with a number of other growing businesses in the world. This is because technology is constantly progressing, and it is important for all sectors to keep themselves up to date.
One of the major problems in the health industry is that the data of patients and all the information is quite scattered. Such information that may be needed at critical times is spread out across a number of systems and departments. This makes it difficult to manage processes smoothly.
The use of blockchain can solve problems like these, and a number of other issues that are quite prevalent in the health industry.
We have listed a number of applications of blockchain in the health industry below, which reflect its role.
Population health management
Population health management relates to the management of health data related to particular demographics. This area of health industry revolves around understanding the risks that exist in a diverse population. The data that is used in this sector does not reveal any names and every record is presented in an anonymous manner. Data security, the interoperability, and the shareability are the biggest problems that are faced in population health management. Quite surprisingly, the use of blockchain solves all of these problems.
Adding security to healthcare systems
At the moment, most of the healthcare systems operate from a central level. So in case, a hacker gains access to the central system, he/she can easily see all the critical information about the patients and the entire organization. By using blockchain, such internal infrastructure can be prevented. For instance, it would be suitable for a single big organization to have different actors all operating independently with a different level of access to the blockchain ledger. With encryption embedded, this will simply increase the security tenfold.
Payments via cryptocurrencies
The ease of making payments via cryptocurrencies is one of the most important benefits of the blockchain in the health industry. It has been estimated that in the year 2016 alone, there was a $30 million fraud via the billing of medical services that remained unperformed. By using blockchain technology, the possibility of frauds from occurring has decreased significantly.
Traceability of drugs
There occurs a loss of billions of US dollars every year in the United States because of fake drugs making their way into the supply chain. It has been estimated that around 10 - 30 percent of the drugs that are manufactured and sold in the developing countries are fake. In order to solve this problem, blockchain technology can be used to trace the origins of the drugs. This will add a great level of security. After all, it is not possible to alter the information that exists inside a block in the blockchain network.
Running secure clinical trials
Whenever a certain drug is manufactured, clinical trials are run to check its effectiveness. However, in order to do this, there is a need for huge datasets. These are then used to develop statistical reports and to find the effectiveness ratio. However, many pharmaceutical companies are known to alter the reports and to record only the results that are beneficial for their firm. In order to do this, the collected data is either modified or hidden in order to alter the final outcome. By using blockchain technology, these trials can be made fully transparent, secure, and fair.