Linking the Future | Blockchain in Healthcare

We’ve mentioned it in a previous blog, but a new technology has the chance to transform the way that healthcare facilities run. As the healthcare landscape continues to change, it’s important to have a sense of stability, especially when it comes to patient information and the logistics of running a healthcare facility. Blockchain will not be a total solution for any logistical problem that the healthcare industry will come across. However, it certainly will help things run smoother. Below we’ll take a look at blockchain in healthcare and just how it can play a positive role in the industry.

The Role of Blockchain in Healthcare

What is Blockchain?

Before we can dive into the implementation of this new technology, it’s important that we’re able to define it first. Blockchain was originally created to help the financial industry. Blockchain is a distributed system that logs transaction records on linked blocks and stores them on an encrypted digital ledger. There is no one central administrator. However, it has unprecedented security benefits. Records are spread across a network of replicated databases that are always in sync. All entries are timestamped and extremely protected to ensure that valuable information is not compromised.

The Current Healthcare System

Like any major technology system, there are often various flaws and issues that can arise and the industry grows and changes. One of the biggest issues with the current healthcare system is the number of restrictions and red tape implemented by the government. Federal rules make the process of recording, storing, and sharing patient information quite tedious. In the healthcare sector, critical patient data and information remains scattered across different departments and systems. Due to this, crucial data is not accessible and handily available in times of need. The existing healthcare ecosystem cannot be considered complete as multiple players in the system do not have a system in place for smooth process management. This convoluted process has many healthcare professionals searching for an answer, and they might have found one in the blockchain.

blockchain in healthcare

Blockchain in Healthcare

Is blockchain in healthcare really a possibility, or is it just another fad that will shortly fizzle out? Well, one study claims that this new technology is here to stay. Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain, a study from IBM, found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives had solid plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56% expected to by 2020. So why are so many people already hopping on the blockchain train? Well, there are many reasons why blockchain in the industry could be a game changer.

For example, accessibility would vastly improve with the implementation of blockchain. Healthcare professionals, insurance companies, and most importantly, patients would all be able to access his or her information in one secure database. No longer would patients need to fill out forms, play phone tag, and get permission to access information about their own lives. This offers higher security and transparency. It also allows doctors to find more time to spend on patient care and their treatment. Moreover, it will also enable better sharing of statistics of researches. This would also facilitate clinical trials and treatment therapies for any rare disease. This accessibility will not only change the way hospitals run but also how the entire industry as a whole.

Another major benefit of blockchain in healthcare is the privacy and security that is offered. Blockchain works with an encrypted system to ensure that it’s unable to be compromised. Since it was originally created to secure financial information, it offers a much more secure process. Those who choose to adapt sooner rather than later will reap the benefits of more patients willing to work with your facility.

A Final Note

It’s important to remember that blockchain won’t fix everything in the healthcare industry. However, it should help streamline many processes that have been slowing down the healthcare sector. There will also need to be federal regulations implemented to ensure that the process runs smoothly. If these guidelines get ironed out, you can expect a better overall healthcare experience.

Is your practice implementing blockchain? Comment below!

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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