What applications of blockchain in heathcare ?
From universities (Cambridge, Harvard…) to industrial leaders (IBM, Sanofi…) and new enterprises (Gem, Medical Chain…), the blockchain solution is nowadays being considered by many. The blockchain, by its characteristics, can now be used to improve the management and protection of health data.
Interoperability, and especially technical interoperability, is the process of defining common informatics standards to optimize the connection of data exchange with market software.
The DMP in France (Shared Medical Record) has been created for this purpose, for example, a form containing health data completed by a doctor can be consulted by another doctor.
Secure data exchange now seems to be a necessity to move towards a more connected e-health model for more efficient services. E-prescriptions are a very interesting use case where the blockchain can have its place to improve data sharing.
One of the most promising uses of the healthy blockchain seems to be the ability to improve drug traceability. According to the OMS, 10 to 30% of the drugs on the market are falsified and causes nearly 800,000 deaths each year.
This causes serious problems in developing countries. They are caused by the absence of an active drug, but also by the complications related to the ingestion of toxic products in drugs used to reduce manufacturing costs.
It is now possible to record drug data on a blockchain. There are many benefits, such as ultra-security with cryptographic processes or the decentralization of the blockchain, which allows everyone to have and be able to consult the complete register.
It then becomes easy to check the authenticity of the drug, or the different steps taken, by flashing a QR code on the box hosting the data. We could very well have the competent authorities that list the manufacturers authorized to issue drugs.
This solution is proposed by various players such as BlockPharma in France or Chronicled in the United States.
Connected devices, such as telephones, are now becoming a real tool for patients.
Connected objects nowadays present a strong growth and a strong potential in the world of health. In fact, their qualities make it possible to connect patients to their health data and make support more effective and easier.
Some of the IoTs raise moral issues because industries use data to commercialize them. Due to its decentralization, anonymization and traceability characteristics, the blockchain will allow the exchange and collection of data with optimal security. By being the owner of our private key, the patient will be able to manage, exchange, his data without communicating his identity using his public key and his private key. He can also keep them, and he will be the holder with his private key. Without his consent, no one will be able to use his data.
With the sensitive subject of data exchange, it therefore seems essential to ensure maximum security in the way data is collected. In this case, the blockchain provides real added value to existing systems.
Many people today are struggling to protect data security. But these will be sold in many cases. Wouldn’t it be better to own it and choose whether or not we want to exchange our data? The remuneration would go to the user, the user would record data, and would contribute to research, to the optimization of the health world.
The contribution of the blockchain in this field is very useful for connecting patients to health professionals who want to collect patient data and use it for medical purposes. Nearly 90% of clinical trials conducted today do not produce results. Indeed, in 2016, out of 235,066 studies conducted, only 25,899 were accompanied by results. There is therefore a real problem of monitoring.
In the case of rare diseases, there are only a very limited number of patients. International studies are very difficult to conduct because of the lack of communication between the different research centres. They need connected tools.
Connecting the blockchain with the IoTs has a real interest in clinical trials. By using objects capable of measuring health data, we will be able to collect the data throughout the day, without ever having to travel. The fact that the IoT provides real-time information allows considerable time savings and ease for the patient and the team conducting the trials.
There are now connected drugs, which allow you to send a signal when the drug is taken, but also to send reminders to think about taking the treatment. This device is very useful in clinical trials where one of the main problems is the lack of treatment.