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  • Writer's pictureVikas Kotak

How Blockchain Can Revolutionize Healthcare

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Introduction


Blockchain/Bitcoin, I am sure these words sound familiar to you. That is because, in recent years, blockchain technology has emerged as a groundbreaking innovation that holds immense potential to revolutionize various industries. It was initially developed to replace physical currency with digital counterparts like Bitcoin and disrupt the finance industry, but its technology has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of other sectors.


Healthcare is one such sector where it can be a game-changer. Imagine a healthcare system where patient records are securely stored, accessible in real-time by authorized parties, and tamper-proof against unauthorized modifications. This is the vision that blockchain brings to the table. By leveraging decentralized and transparent ledger technology, blockchain can transform how healthcare organizations handle data, streamline processes, and ultimately enhance patient outcomes.


So, grab your virtual stethoscope as we dive into the world of blockchain-powered healthcare and explore five ways this technology is ready to revolutionize the industry.


1) Data security and privacy

Blockchain is a technology that offers a decentralized and unchangeable record-keeping system suitable for safeguarding and transmitting sensitive healthcare information. Therefore the data is protected against tampering and also minimizing the chances of unauthorized access or data breaches.


Application- Storage of personal health data and clinical trial data



2) Health Insurance and Claims Processing

Blockchain can streamline health insurance processes, such as verifying coverage and managing claims. It can even automate these processes based on predefined conditions. This increases transparency, reduces administrative costs, and improves the accuracy of claims settlements.


Application- Hassle-free insurance claims



3) Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring

It is possible that the doctor who can treat a specific health condition may not be in the town where the patient is. Telemedicine has solved this problem. Doing this via blockchain can benefit both, the doctor and the patient. The patients can retain control over their data and provide temporary access to the physician while the physician can seamlessly monitor patients’ data from anywhere in the world. Decentralization ensures data is not stored in a single location, minimizing the chances of unauthorized access or data breaches.


Application- Get the best possible treatment in areas with few doctors available.



4) Exchange of Health Data

Given the technology used in healthcare, it is very difficult to share and access patient data across different healthcare providers and systems. Blockchain can improve coordination by establishing a standardized and secure method for exchanging health records, allowing healthcare organizations to seamlessly share data while maintaining data integrity and privacy.


Application- A specialist can coordinate with the patient’s primary care physician to get the best outcome.



5) Supply chain management

Pharmaceutical companies and physicians work in close association. That being said it is quite often that the prescribed drug by the physician is not available in the nearest pharmacy. Blockchain can solve this by providing end-to-end visibility and traceability of the drugs. This will improve inventory management and also reduce the risk of counterfeit products.


Application- A physician can see beforehand if the drug prescribed is available in the pharmacy or not.




Conclusion

  • In conclusion, blockchain technology holds tremendous potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry in multiple ways. By addressing critical challenges related to data security, privacy, insurance processes, telemedicine, data exchange, and supply chain management, blockchain can transform healthcare and ultimately enhance patient outcomes.

  • The decentralized and tamper-proof nature of blockchain makes it an ideal solution for storing and transmitting sensitive healthcare information, protecting it against unauthorized access and tampering. This ensures data security and privacy, allowing patients to have more control over their health records while enabling authorized healthcare professionals to access real-time patient data seamlessly.

  • Embracing blockchain in the healthcare industry has the potential to unlock numerous benefits, leading to a more secure, accessible, and patient-centric healthcare system.



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