Can Blockchain play a role in renewing health care?


Health care costs in the United States account for almost 20% of the gross domestic product. There is a lack of transparency of prices within the health system. As a result, consumers spend more on health care plans, get little in return and do not fully understand their value. Indeed, many consumers do not have access to the knowledge of the complex structure and the costs underlying this complex system.

The lack of transparency contributes to the management of health and inefficiencies in administrative systems, to misaligned incentives and to the slowdown of innovation. As Americans live longer and the population continues to grow and age, the burden of the health system grows exponentially.

Blockchain Defined

Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger based on a consensus algorithm. In this system, the information is divided into blocks and then sealed. Block chains are not stored centrally. Instead, each block is copied and distributed through an entire peer network. These peers can be individuals, public institutions, companies or non-governmental organizations. Each of these peers uses a generalized accounting technology.

The benefits of blockchain include immutability, security, verifiability, resilience and transparency. This means that multiple copies of a blockchain are maintained and managed by consensus through a peer-to-peer network. As a result, no peers can change the record of past transactions. From a security point of view, blockchain is a fundamental cryptographic law. Anyone in the world can check if the rules of the system are followed. The distributed nature of the ledger makes it resilient. Although many colleagues are offline, information is still accessible. Transactions are transparent and transmitted to all colleagues. However, the encrypted nature of transactions means that privacy is assured. The bottom line is trust. Privacy, responsibility and transparency are all strictly managed. However, there are still potential obstacles to blockchain in health care. Potential barriers include limited communication between systems and a lack of trust, both of which contribute to resistance to changing the functioning of the health system.

Limited communication between EMR systems

Consumers do not want their health information to be transmitted on networks without their consent. Regulations such as HIPAA ensure that patient information is not shared without patient consent. Data keepers take security measures to ensure that data is protected. Not long ago, patient records were documented on paper by all those involved in patient care. Today the paper has been replaced by electronic medical records (EMR). EMRs are a fragmented system designed to facilitate access to patient records and safety. It was created to standardize documentation, prevent errors and create concise graphics. The system stores long-term medical records and retrieves them from any position. However, EMRs have limitations, including the inability to communicate with each other. As a result, data can not be shared between systems. This creates barriers to patient care management.

Lack of trust

With the evolution of technology, the gradient of health professionals to adopt varied technology and the motivation for the adoption of various technologies. In this area, compliance and regulations are essential. Both provide warranty and guidance for suppliers and suppliers. However, consider the rate of adoption from the card to the EMRs. In 2017, 67% of suppliers reported using an EMR system. What does 33% of suppliers do? Change is difficult and perpetuates an aversion to risk for both users and suppliers.

Blockchain is a system based on trust. While this technology is constantly evolving, it involves a certain level of risk. Currently, efforts are being made to control blockchain transactions as there is no guarantee or guarantee of accuracy. As a result, more work is needed to validate applications in the health care arena.

Considerations on the Blockchain

Blockchain technologies can be an effective basis for helping industry to redesign organizations, products and services. A patientcentric strategy offers companies the opportunity to continue to lead the way to enact regulatory reforms with the support of policymakers and to overcome limits through technological advances and innovation.

These efforts are key to fostering competitive collaboration and continued innovation among insurers, healthcare professionals and regulators. Technological changes are dynamic, as is patient care. We all have to participate and support innovative technology programs to improve patient care. Blockchain is a possibility to promote the development of a robust health data infrastructure through a system of verification, movement of resources, property and identity.

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