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Medical Service Market Issues

What are the main issues that can be found in this market?

MISBLOC (Medical Information Service with Blockchain) is a medical service ecosystem which is based on blockchain technology. MISBLOC offers a sustainable and efficient medical service ecosystem by providing reliable medical information to patients, medical institutions, and public institutions in the Big Data era.

Hi there! In today’s post, we want to look at the Medical Service Market from a different angle and discern all the issues that can be found there. The issues, such as the fragmentation of EMR systems, centralization of medical data systems, and the presence of unreliable information in the medical service market have created nasty bottlenecks for those involved with it.

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ Medical Service Concept

Medical services are divided into preventive and therapeutic health services. Altogether, these services preserve the physical and mental health of patients through the prevention, treatment, and management of diseases. Medical staff and health professionals provide these services.

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Medical Service Market

The health care industry (or medical industry) refers to the economic system that provides goods and services related to treatments, preventions, rehabilitations, or alleviations of patients’ diseases. The modern healthcare industry is divided into several areas based on expertise. Interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and experts satisfy the health-related needs of people. In fact, the medical industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world.

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Medical Service Market Issues

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fragmented EMR Systems

The EMR systems currently exploited in Korea are severely fragmented. This is mainly due to the fact that the chart programs of the leading companies in the market are not standardized so that each company uses totally different systems. Although the content of mandatory records has been standardized, the operating methods, databases, and human interfaces of the programs for storage and utilization vary from company to company. This results in different medical record systems.

The fragmentation of the EMR systems is in fact causing a totally adverse effect on the compatibility of medical records. Namely, given the fact that medical institutions do not utilize standardized recording systems, patients cannot move or transfer their medical records when they change medical institutions. Although the EMR systems were introduced mainly to automatize the medical recording process, complete compatibility of diagnoses or healthcare information has not been enabled. This has left the linkage of medical records between medical institutions and the continuity of healthcare in the same spot, meaning there has been no connection between institutions. This is no different from the medical recording paper method.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Centralization of Medical Data System

Currently, medical data is managed by a system that is thoroughly centralized by medical institutions. This makes medical data less transparent and reliable, and thus more vulnerable to data loss and hacking. This in turn jeopardizes accessibility and the proper utilization of the data. It implies that sensitive data is always exposed to the risk of a data leak. In fact, according to FireEye, a cybersecurity company, several medical-related databases were sold for less than USD 2,000 during the period of October 1, 2018 — March 31, 2019, signaling that such data exposures could be abused for criminal purposes.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Unreliable Medical Information Content

Patients seek objective evaluation and to receive reputable experts’ advice in order to get safe medical services. However, the presence of unreliable medical information creates an environment where illegal medical brokers can thrive, pursuing nothing but large fees. A medical institution or an individual who wants to attract overseas patients to Korea should register with the Ministry of Health and Welfare as a “foreign patient care institution” or a “business operator.” However, there are illegal medical brokers who do not register and correspondingly are not supervised by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Instead, they collect introductory fees from hospitals for attracting overseas patients illegally.

It is then difficult for overseas patients to receive proper medical services because illegal brokers introduce hospitals based on the amount of money that they can earn, regardless of the quality of medical care. Thus, patients often receive expensive, yet low-quality medical services while having to pay 30–70% of the total to illegal medical brokers. This happens mainly due to the absence of reliable medical information on the internet. As a result, overseas patients’ confidence in Korean medical services has been diminished precisely due to the mischievous and hazardous activities carried out by illegal brokers in this sphere. This further deals a heavy blow to the medical tourism industry. In fact, in 2018, there were problems raised by a government audit that showed that illegal brokers were running rampant, including charging excessive fees for unnecessary medical treatment. Moreover, the efforts to reduce illegal brokers were insufficient and the punishments promised during the crackdown were not properly carried out.

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