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Blockchain Technology in Healthcare: Revolutionizing an Industry

Prem KhatriBy: Prem Khatri

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Blockchain technology, at its core, is a distributed system for keeping track of transactional data. Records continue to get added to a decentralized, shared ledger that all parties can access. Trust becomes decentralized because of the way the system uses cryptography to verify each interaction. These interactions become part of the immutable audit trail.

The framework is uniquely suited to create value in healthcare. The nature of the technology solves problems that traditional methods cannot. Excellent healthcare requires trust, security, privacy, and interoperability of data between various systems. These challenges are complex problems to solve. However, Blockchain in healthcare provides an opportunity to solve them in a new way.

Uses of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare:

1. Securing Patients Data

Protecting patient's data and privacy has always been a vital area of concern in the healthcare system. Consumers and regulators alike have demanded secure controls over personal information. Yet, there have been many data breaches that include personal health data.

Blockchain shines as a potential solution to healthcare data security because of its immutable, decentralized, and utterly transparent nature. Every interaction with data becomes part of the permanent record. This overwhelming transparency does not mean that individual privacy concerns become exposed. Logs, records, and transactions are transparent. But the identities of individuals remain private via cryptography methods.

Using Blockchain for healthcare means that individuals' identities and medical data can remain private while the system itself is secure.

Securing Patients Data

2. Supply Chain Management

The healthcare supply chain is fragmented and complex. There is little to no management oversight over the process, from drug creation to consumer delivery. Heavy regulations increase the burden on the entire logistics system. Quality control and compliance are challenging to measure and enforce.

Blockchain technology systems can help the entire industry solve some of these logistical problems. Because the Blockchain is immutable, these permanent transactions can help manufacturers track ingredients and ensure compliant levels, for example. Blockchain ledgers can help regulatory enforcement agencies trace legitimate drugs from counterfeit ones.

Blockchain's immutable nature can help with quality control and compliance of healthcare supply chains and logistics.

3. Interoperability

One of the main challenges in healthcare data management is interoperability. There are many separate entities and systems across manufacturers, pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and clinics. Each of these entities uses technology in some way to manage their business and patient records. Medical records need to be usable across the spectrum as patients move from one entity to the other.

Blockchain technology can help with this integration. By nature, a Blockchain ledger is distributed. That means the digital transactions containing patient data become shared with all authorized parties. Patients that change doctors can easily share their full medical records by simply updating a single permission.

Blockchain systems reduce the time and cost associated with data transformation and reconciliation. Authorized parties can access the patient data they need from the decentralized network.

4. Medical staff credentialing

Healthcare is a booming industry for new career seekers. It's also a highly regulated industry. Recruiters and employers must carefully verify the credentials that applicants claim to have. Peoples' health and lives are at stake. The consequences of hiring an unqualified candidate can be devastating. Unfortunately, it's often a time-consuming and expensive process.

Blockchain systems promise a solution to the problem of verifying medical credentials quickly and efficiently. Legitimate medical credentials get added to the immutable ledger. All Blockchain records are verifiable by design, so as new credentials are issued, they get added to the list. Authorized individuals can add permissions to view or edit the entries. This credential management and verification process are instant and secure.

Blockchain offers a great solution to effective and efficient medical credential verification.

Medical staff credentialing

5. Health Information Exchanges & Research Data

With the latest trends in digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, data is increasingly becoming more vital and more valuable. The healthcare industry is no exception and already has tremendous amounts of medical data on patients, drugs, clinical trials, and more. De-identified data is invaluable for research on more effective drugs, treatments, and programs.

Blockchain networks offer the privacy and security that patients want. They also promise the ubiquitous access to data that researchers and pharmaceutical companies desire. This collaboration will unlock valuable new medical insights and discoveries that might transform the way the world does healthcare.

Blockchain implementation could lead to monetized networks of data sharing that is useful and privacy-respectful.

6. Developing Your Own Healthcare Solution on Blockchain

While Blockchain is an innovative new technology, it doesn't have to be mystical or out of reach for an organization. Some business Blockchain use cases also require unique implementations of technology that aren't fully open to the public. Companies want to make sure that sensitive data is protected and restricted from unauthorized access.

Private Blockchain networks offer all the benefits of Blockchain with the additional advantage of being fully controlled within an organization. The Graphene framework is one such solution. This framework, designed for custom Blockchain implementations, contains all the requirements for operating a network. Pre-packaged Graphene components include a barebones implementation, data storage, complete peer-to-peer networking, and the required cryptography functions.

Implementing a framework like this enables you to focus on your business needs and not complicated technical issues. However, because it is a framework, it doesn't include all the business rules to make it work. Frameworks get you up and running quickly, while custom development provides those additional necessary rules.

Chetu provides Blockchain Development Services for custom implementations of Blockchain technology. We use high performance Blockchain technology for both public or private networks. We also build custom blockchain applications, cryptocurrency mining solutions, and wallet software.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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