Blockchain for Personal Data Privacy in Healthcare

Quality and affordable healthcare is a necessity for every nation in modern society. We believe this goal could become a possibility if backed up by latest blockchain technology. Blockchain technology uses an immutable ledger with a transparent database that can be applied to solve current issues of handling healthcare information such as patient medical history and payment records. The ledger facilitates smooth data sharing among healthcare solutions providers which in turn will lead to increased effectiveness in treatment, accuracy in diagnosis and a cost-effective ecosystem. As far as healthcare is concerned personal data is something worth privacy, taking a literal example of healthcare; management of patient data is facing threats of privacy since there is still a gap when it comes to patient data management.


Current Healthcare System

Frost & Sullivan June 2017 Report: “Blockchain — Ecosystem Participants For Healthcare Industry,” shows that critical patient data, as well as information on most healthcare system, remains scattered over different systems and departments; As a result of the inefficiency of the current systems, crucial data is neither accessible nor available in times of need. To make matters worse, the current system is incomplete, and most players lack the full integration of this system, making the process of personal data management difficult. Also, the system is not interconnected which makes it impossible to share or exchange information securely within a healthcare department.

Statistics taken to evaluate the current healthcare system show that delivering high-quality healthcare services has been made difficult due to the misuse of information. The current statistics indicate that almost half of the clinical trials go unreported in most of US hospitals. Surprisingly it was discovered that 40% of healthcare provider data records are faulty with misleading information. The average cost of record keeping is way too expensive for our current economy to bear as it reaches $380 per record per year.

The systems used in keeping healthcare records are outdated as far as modern technology is concerned. Such systems puts the patient data at risk of being lost or mixed up, causing all sorts of confusion. As a result of the outdated technology, doctors find it difficult to fully take in charge patients since the process is time-consuming when it comes to sorting out records. Due to this, the cost of treatment or running a patient-oriented business has significantly increased.

Hindrances afflicting the current healthcare systems are unlimited and they keep on worsening with time. The need for an improved and affordable system is highly needed. Therefore the application of blockchain technology in data recording for the healthcare system would save both the government large expenses and the patient loss of data. The technology will ease the process of Health Information Exchange thereby able to curb instances of identity theft, spamming or financial data crimes.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR is a set of regulations which describes personal data protection among the 28 EU countries. The laws give a clear outline of what type of data should or should not be disclosed without the owner’s consent. There are strict rules that control personally identifiable information (PII). The body extends its mandate to protect personal data as well as the data protection rights. The regulation has several regulations such as increased fines, opt-in consent breach notifications, and responsibility in personal data transfer.

According to Coravos & Warner, 2017 A Github “Open-source landscape map for healthcare-related blockchains,” GDPR regulations need efficient technology in record and data keeping especially when it comes to healthcare management systems. Blockchain technology can protect personal data as it has been described in the GDPR regulations.

At Pikciochain our blockchain technology is already fully GDPR compliant and we strive to extend it’s compliance to cover a larger scope of personal data regulations.

With such a system in healthcare, the parties involved would share or keep a track record of their data as well as the information without compromising the integrity or security of patients.


Blockchain solution over personal data privacy

Blockchain technology, which is considered as a security infrastructure, holds the potential solution to a problem which has been hindering management of health data reconciliation and facilitation of interoperability. Thus the emergence of blockchain technology give greater hope to unlocking new economic advantages by solving high-cost gatekeepers and automating record keeping as well as retrieval services such as claim adjudication, RCM, billing management, drug supply chain…

Healthcare is a sector that requires smooth data sharing among all healthcare solution providers. This will lead to better means of data management, accuracy in diagnosis, cost-effective ecosystem and effective treatments. Currently, patient data needs proper utilization of resources to utilize the insightful information usually discovered through it.


Major Application of Blockchain in Healthcare

Population Health Data

Application of blockchain in healthcare allows an individual to get involved in population health studies hence can monetize personal data. Also, well-organized healthcare data improve service delivery to patients as it saves time when the required data is easily accessible. Using other technologies with blockchain such as AI and ML will make it possible to discover widespread health risks in a given demographic setting.

Secure Healthcare Setups

Proper setup of blockchain in a healthcare organization would help in preventing data corruption or hardware failure. When blockchain technology is utilized in the right way, it assists in protecting the infrastructure of a healthcare organization. The blockchain has a limit beyond which each participant is permitted to access. Measures of securing personal data such as encryption can be put in place to save the organization from any kind of external threats.

Clinical Trials & Data Security

Blockchain technology will be used to increase the credibility, trust, and transparency of clinical trials and results. The documentation with the result can be kept as a smart contract on blockchain which will serve as a digital thumbprint. The catalog with the documents in turn will reduce the risks of losing documents, audit costs, file review or types of fraud. Proper application of blockchain technology will ensure the supply management of pharma and accountability of drug tracking.


Conclusion

The technology has great potential to completely solve issues of personal data privacy that have existed over many years. However, the success of blockchain will not only depend on equipping the healthcare providers with technical skills but also ensure society as a whole is aware of the advantages of embracing it. Thus integration of blockchain into top current healthcare systems will play a key role in enhancing the affordability, quality and security of healthcare.