How does web3 improve the healthcare infrastructure?

Nerd For Tech
Published in
5 min readOct 23, 2022


When the second iteration of the web, Web 2.0, emerged, several practical applications and use cases were found. It introduced several innovative technologies like Electronic Health Records, telemedicine, healthcare applications and more to improve the healthcare infrastructure and make it more accessible and organized. However, when the services and solutions offered were great, they held many hidden dangers. The security threats and other major issues it posed were greater, and many healthcare institutions are reconsidering implementing technologies built on Web 2.0. These gaps need to be filled, which Web3 solutions can successfully address.

Let us understand the downsides of Web 2.0 technologies in healthcare and how Web3 can improve the health infrastructure.

Web 2.0 and healthcare

The healthcare that evolved with the evolution of the web into Web 2.0 is known as Healthcare 2.0. This second version of healthcare transformed the conventional method of the healthcare system and made it more effective and robust. Various technologies like mHealth, telemedicine, connected health, EHR, etc., gave patients more insight into their health and associated problems. Using applications like MyFitnessPal or Hydro Coach, they can keep track of their food and water intake, fitness and workout sessions, meditation and yoga to stay fit and healthy.

However, regardless of the positives and revolutionary changes, it brought to the healthcare infrastructure, the threats it poses are greater. Healthcare institutions possessing weakly protected websites, databases and servers are prone to cybersecurity attacks. Hackers and cybercriminals always hunt for misconfigured or weakly protected databases to breach the system and ask for ransom. Unfortunately, many healthcare institutions worldwide have no robust data management system; thus, hackers can hack down and take advantage of the system anytime. Moreover, many healthcare providers have outdated medical equipment and devices without the latest threat defenses.

Healthcare institutions with electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) should have adequate technical security measures to prevent any risk. They should also possess frequently reviewed cybersecurity policies and procedures and, at the core, have ample cyber awareness.

Web3 in healthcare

Web3 in healthcare aims to solve the shortcomings of Web 2.0 in healthcare and add value to the infrastructure. The components of web3 that can revolutionize the healthcare industry are:

  • Blockchain
  • Metaverse
  • NFTs

The several use cases of web3 in healthcare include:

1. Patient data management and data ownership

The present healthcare infrastructure struggles with proper data management. Each patient accessing the healthcare institution needs separate medical records, and storing and managing them can become hectic for these institutions. Moreover, no patients can access their medical records, which are stored in centralized servers. This is where blockchains can help in managing patient data. The immutable ledger of records can store any information which cannot be edited or deleted. It assists in proper data management and keeps it organized and structured.

The patients can only access the data stored in the blockchain and have the complete authority to give access to the healthcare professional they want. Healthcare professionals use smart contracts to keep a patient’s medical history on the blockchain. The generated public key or distinctive ID is necessary to allow anyone to access the data. The patient who holds the key may share it with the professional whenever necessary.

2. Data protection

How healthcare data is now managed is susceptible to security flaws and is readily hackable. The centralized servers must be trusted, and patients expect services to protect their data and adhere to privacy laws.

Blockchain technology is impenetrable to tampering since it is a decentralized, distributed, and immutable ledger. As the data is distributed over nodes, an attacker must attack each node in the network to hack, modify or delete the data, which is near impossible. Moreover, accessing the data will need the patients’ permission and tampering with the data is also impossible. This enables healthcare providers to store sensitive information without data breaches.

3. Prevent drug counterfeiting

The healthcare sector is increasingly concerned about pharmaceutical counterfeiting since the supply chain lacks transparency. The original drug is tampered with and counterfeited by illegal drug producers, resulting in drugs with reduced necessary ingredients or active substances that are not listed on the label.

Web3 in healthcare would assist in managing and reducing the market for fake medications. The blockchain provides drug traceability and security. Each transaction’s information is added to blocks in a blockchain environment, which are immutable and cannot be changed, destroyed, or amended. The transaction logs include a timestamp as well. Therefore, the problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals can be eliminated if the entire supply chain is switched to the blockchain network and each drug is registered on the chain before being distributed. If any drug record cannot be found on the blockchain, it can be easily identified as forged medicine and eliminated from the supply chain before reaching consumers.

4. Surgical operations

The metaverse integrates various technologies like AR, AI, VR, 3D reconstruction, blockchain, and more, providing a distinctive ecosystem for performing surgical operations. Through the metaverse, patients who require surgery but do not necessarily have access to it in their home country can work with surgeons worldwide. The doctors can then formulate a strategy by reviewing the patient’s profile and selecting the best course of action.

Sometimes renowned surgeons work with surgeons from another location to support operations through the metaverse. This is successful in nations without access to treatment for certain diseases or disorders.

5. Medical training

In the present medical training techniques, students can only view and learn from 2D graphics and videos. Many medical education institutions permit students to practice on corpses, which raises ethical and legal concerns.

Students can observe a 3D view of cellular-level aspects of the human body in the metaverse, which can inspire real-world processes and facilitate real-world operations. The immersive experience, social interaction, and engaging atmosphere that the 3D visualization offers are all enhanced without any danger issues. Before performing real-life surgeries, students can practice their skills in the metaverse by doing virtual surgeries.

6. Patient Medical record and monetization

There is currently no single master patient record document since the medical record-keeping system is fragmented. Each record can be categorized and organized in one location by the patients if web3 technologies are used for managing and keeping track of medical records. If they go to another healthcare provider, they can still access the patient file and avoid carrying their documentation and explaining their medical history to many doctors.

Patients can also make money from their medical records by turning them into NFTs. The data can be converted into NFTs and then stored in the blockchain, and no one outside the patient has access to these traceable NFTs. Then they can sell it to doctors or people who want to use the information for the study, research or create new medical products.

Overall, web3 integration in healthcare can help maintain a structured data management system and return control of data to consumers.



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