Blockchain Technology: The need of the Hour for Healthcare Industry
Blockchain technology is decentralized and distributed technology, which means data is not stored in a single location, rather distributed across devices. Although the codes are open and public for users to see, Blockchain is one of the most secure technologies available today. All the information is stored on an encrypted digital ledger on multiple devices across the network, so even if a device malfunctions, the data can be retrieved by other devices on the network. Once the data is updated in Blockchain, users can only add information. It does not allow users to alter the present data. Blockchain was first used in Bitcoin. It is a cryptocurrency, used as a medium of exchange for digital transactions. It uses cryptography to verify as well as secure transactions. The tech community has started acknowledging the potential of Blockchain for other aspects also.
Healthcare industry can also benefit by using Blockchain technology. The reasons are listed below:
Data security in clinical trials: Clinical trials tend to produce a huge amount of data. These data can be altered to show a positive record for a clinical trial. Blockchain can help to secure the data, as once entered, data cannot be altered. This can help in making the trials transparent and fair.
Drug tracking: Counterfeit drugs are a major issue for pharmaceutical companies. It can also affect the consumer adversely. Health Research Funding Organization (HRFO), in its report, mentions that almost 30 percent of medicines in developing countries are counterfeit. Blockchain can help to track a medicine from production to distribution. It is safe from all types of data breaches which will create a transparency in supply-chain.
Patient Information: Hospitals have a lot of sensitive patient data. Blockchain will help patients to authorize an individual to access their private data.
Claim Processing: Blockchain can help to simplify medical billing. Instead of multiple billing locations, the bills can be stored on a Blockchain network. A patient can check his bills at any time. This will also help in hassle-free transactions.
Blockchain has become a revelation in the tech industry. Since its inception tech companies have found many aspects of Blockchain usage. Healthcare industry should also utilize this technology to ensure data security, faster and transparent system.