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How Blockchain Technology can Transform the Healthcare Industry?

BlockChain Expert 19/September/2018
    Blockchain technology has successively broadened and has become one of the most popular innovation in the field of technology. The blockchain is now a mature field which is now being spun out into various applications and the definition says ‘The Blockchain is a public ledger for recording every transaction happening in a particular network'.

Here are some of the most familiar properties of Blockchain:
    1. Digitalized
    2. Decentralized
    3. Democratic
    4. Distributed ledger
    5. Transparent
    6. Immutable and Indelible
    7. Trackable
    8. Auditable
    9. Safe and secure
    10. Efficient
    11. Scalable
    12. Economical

    The blockchain is a distributed ledger, which can be used for recording transactions and storing transaction details. It tracks every asset placed on a network. There is no central authority in a blockchain system, meaning all transactions are recorded, stored and shared overall network participants. The applications of Blockchain are expanding beyond all the initially defined possibilities, For eg. trading, file storage, identity management, medical records management, and education etc.

    Through this blog, Let's look at how pivotal this new form of technology will help the healthcare industry grow.
    
    An accurate medical record is essential for proper healthcare management. Perfect medical records are fundamental for the care and safety of patients. One cannot consult his health with the same medical expert throughout his life. Sooner or later of life, he may need to approach some other specialist too. So the past medical records need to be displayed to the new one.

    The healthcare industry is completely immersed in data like clinical trials, patient medical verification, complex billing, medical research, drug development and more.

Let us take an in-depth dive of blockchain technology and see what kind of effect this would have on the healthcare industry.

Clinical Trials
    Clinical trials are generally outsourced for faster execution and potential patient outreach. the trustworthiness of data being shared becomes a crucial question. In the recent times, the drug regulators have started questioning the authenticity of data especially the one produced for regulatory approval. But with the introduction of the blockchain, the integrity of data is improvised and upheld. Under blockchain, every information pertaining to the healthcare industry are recorded in chronological fashion improving the trustworthiness, proof of concept and timestamp. Blockchain technology is used for maintaining the patient data integrity in clinical trials. Here the data shared via patients are secure using the smart contracts. Smart contract ultimately decides upon how, what, when, where and who is reading or accessing the data.

Medical Data Management
    Using blockchain in healthcare industry improves storing medical records on electronic devices. This allows the patient's records to be accessed safely by any provider who needs it, thus saving time, solving issues like misspending, confusion and duplication in procedures, and so on. The purpose is to give patients and their providers complete access to their medical history they have ever seen. Furthermore, if patients wish to allow access to their personal medical records to doctors and researchers or anybody he trusts, this could make the medical industry achieve potentially faster.

Medical Verification of Patients
    This eliminates the repetition of taking the medical documents along when the patient consult the doctor for the second time. By doing so, the patient can eliminate unnecessary carry forwards like X Rays, bringing down the expenses and most importantly the patient will be exposed to less radiation.

    If more than one medical specialists from different organizations use blockchain technology, they can seamlessly take the copy of the patient’s data, via looking at the blocks, when and where the document was processed. If an X-Ray was taken recently, a medical specialist can ask for a copy of that X-Ray or look at the chain if it includes the related information in it. Hence, data is decentralized on the blockchain so that there are multiple copies simultaneously updated from input at multiple sources.

Drug Development and Supply Chain Integrity
    Blockchains facilitate new drug development by making patient results available (if the patients give their permission), it could lessen the face medication suggestion that influences the pharmaceutical companies

Claims and Billing Management
    The blockchain-based framework could help limit medicare fraud and extortion. Likewise, it could reduce administration costs for billing by eliminating the requirement for intermediaries with computerized activities and more efficient processing.

Medical Research
    Centralizing the results of clinical trials and patient outcomes for new treatment protocols can improve care and patient outcomes. Currently, with all the diverse and disconnected systems in play, there is no way for a human to process all the data that is generated and recorded in disparate systems for future treatment possibilities. Blockchains could provide the access to make medical innovation quicker.

Data Security
    There was a time when patient records were breached. but With the growth of blockchain solutions have the potential to be the infrastructure that is needed to keep medical data private and secure while gaining the benefits of connected medical devices.
Despite the fact that blockchain is currently changing the healthcare industry, remember this is a marathon, not a run. Healthcare organizations and entities are testing and screening how blockchains can better support their task while future applications will definitely be found along the way. It will be an interesting procedure to watch.