Using The Blockchain For Healthcare Projects
Blockchain is a modern and credible instrument enabling the users to exchange data and services, make payments with a high level of credibility. This data storage tool can be used in a variety of ways.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is an encoded digital ledger that is stored on multiple computers in a public or private network. The working mechanism of this technology is hidden in its name. Blockchain comprises data records, or “blocks”. Once these blocks are collected in a chain, they cannot be changed or deleted by a single actor; instead, they are verified and managed using automation and shared governance protocols.
Blockchain system is actively used in cryptocurrency transactions. Previously, work with documentation due to bureaucratic nuances would take weeks, but thanks to an automated verification process and cryptography you can cope with it within 4 hours. Considering how big players of the market began to use the blockchain, it’s understandable that it opens up new opportunities and will be actively used in the future. Some analysts predict an increased interest in Blockchain in the countries of the Persian Gulf, in particular, Bahrain and the UAE. According to statistics, the Blockchain technologies market will grow from $339 million in 2017 to $2.3 billion in 2021.
How can Blockchain benefit the healthcare?
A high level of safety and flexibility provides a bunch of opportunities in medicine. First of all, it can be used to store personal data of patients. Blockchain technology works on a decentralized basis. Thus, the database is stored not in one place, but on computers hundreds, thousands of users. There is a duplication of the entire chain of information and storage in encrypted form for each participant, like a backup, eliminating the substitution of original data. This eliminates the possibility of DoS-attacks. Hackers simply can’t destroy or replace data. If the transaction is conducted with the participation of 10 people, this chain will always remain available, even when 9 out of 10 computers fail. Each link becomes a full backup for all transactions.
A high level of encryption based on personal keys excludes the possibility of theft of someone else’s information. One of the key benefits is a step-by-step recording of information. In the chain of information, you can add a new element, but you can’t delete the old one. More precisely, the algorithm of the blocking operation allows you to locally change any data, but to record the current operation, you will need to confirm other computers (users) of the system about the integrity of the entire chain. This all happens in an automatic mode. If any element of the chain does not match the same element on another computer, the write operation is canceled. Thus, the whole chain must be complete. No one can change previously recorded information. On the one hand, this gives concrete advantages. The patient can always be sure that their information is protected and can’t be changed by anyone. On the other hand, it makes very responsibly approach to filling out the data. After all, a doctor can make a mistake and this can lead to an unpleasant situation in the future.
Another important feature of the Blockchain technology is its global access. The patient can easily provide access to the treating doctor. At the same time, a doctor can get data from anywhere in the world. Blockchain integration in healthcare industry is great for creating a single patient registry. In fact, there will be a single base with a high level of security, stable operation and access from anywhere. Having such an infrastructure, the patient does not need to worry about data synchronization. Any doctor can review the medical history and prescribe treatment, of course only after the patient’s permission.
All data will be recorded in the general register, regardless of whether it is a private reception or health insurance application. After all, often, a private doctor’s appointment is not displayed anywhere in the patient’s history. This will make it possible to see a clearer picture of the patient’s illnesses. This approach will significantly reduce the costs of financial support for clinics. The data will be updated in real time, and the processing time will be reduced several times. Within a few seconds the doctor can find out blood group, chronic diseases, allergic reactions, etc. Thus, there is no need to do repeated tests. This will save time and increase the speed of treatment.
Challenges of Blockchain implementation.
At this point, the main problem arises, the standardization of data. In addition, the data must be reliable and confirmed by the patient themselves. Another problem is the reliability of the diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis can lead to improper treatment. This will be displayed in the patient’s card and may affect the following doctor’s decisions. Here are some examples of blockchain companies which offer their service in the healthcare industry: Astri (Hong Kong, China), Blockchain Health (San Francisco), Bloq (Chicago), Blockpharma (Paris, France), ConsenSys (New York City), etc.
Looking into the future of Blockchain.
In the near future, IoT devices can collect patients’ data (pulse, pressure, temperature, etc.) in real time and fill in the patient’s card automatically. Data will be transmitted every second in 24/7 mode. The doctor can clearly know when the temperature or pressure has risen when the headaches began. This will allow you to more accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment. In general, blockchain technology in medicine will allow clinics to work more efficiently at a lower cost. It opens up new opportunities and will lead to a revolution in the healthcare industry. Blockchain will allow to raise healthcare services to a higher level.
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