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How Blockchain is set to transform the health sector

The healthcare sector is ready to break through the implementation of blockchain technology in various operational areas.

October
5, 2018

4 minutes of reading

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By 2020, global annual healthcare expenditure is expected to exceed USD 8.734 billion. Despite this, there is a lot of dissatisfaction regarding the quality of services and the high cost that people have to face to access them. The health sector had long been identified as one of those with the greatest potential to be interrupted by blockchain technology, but actual implementations were few and far between, probably due to the traditional reluctance of the industry to incorporate new technologies until they have been proven to be reliable and safe enough. Nowadays, however, there are a myriad of blockchain use cases that come to the fore, changing things and making the industry future proof.

Records management

One of the main attractions of the blockchain and many of the currencies it has generated is the accurate registration that facilitates, so it is not surprising that the same feature is an important attraction for the healthcare industry where there is a need for professionals and patients to have absolute confidence in the correctness of the information presented at a given time.

Data security has been a significant problem for the industry, with the protrusus barometer report showing that 40 million patient records were breached between 2015-2016. With blockchain technology, common weaknesses can be eliminated, reducing the likelihood of violations and allowing information to be verified at each end much faster. A clear indication of the potential of the blockchain in this area is the project of the NMC hospital in Abu Dhabi to digitize all patient records on the blockchain.

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Internet of medical things

Derived from the popular IOT tag, the IOMT is simply; as highlighted by Deloitte in this report, "a connected infrastructure of health systems and services." Includes wearable technologies and those implanted in patient bodies, devices in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, all with the ability to communicate with each other in order to monitor, inform and inform patients, health care providers and health data providers that may therefore be promptly processed (notifications of drug use or blood pressure spikes, for example) to prevent deterioration.

With the blockchain, devices can communicate directly and save time and administrative costs in this way. Furthermore, the risk of tampering by third parties would be eliminated by the decentralized consent function of the blockchain. According to Jack Liu, CEO of ALLIVE, another great way to use blockchain technology to enhance IOMT would be to use cryptographic tokens as incentives for people to share their data with health institutions – "would solve the problem of getting patient consent and also increase the pool of massively available data. "

Related: Built on Blockchain: Chapter two – One block, one vote

Medical research

Medical staff and scientists constantly research to find cures for various diseases and to improve current medications and procedures. A common problem that they often face, however, is the difficulty in analyzing data in an efficient and secure manner. With the blockchain acting as a base, the development of new treatments and clinical trials would generally be accelerated as the traditional intermediate entities would be eliminated in favor of direct communication. Furthermore, because the integrity of the results would certainly be free of any manipulation, regulatory agencies, patients and other stakeholders would be able to make more informed decisions in a timely manner.

Overall, it is clear beyond any doubt that the health sector is ripe for disruption through the implementation of blockchain technology in various operational areas. In addition to those highlighted here, it is likely that more cases of use will be innovated in the coming months and years, changing things and making sure that the industry is ready for the potentials and challenges to ensure that the future the world is healthy, with greater access to quality assistance and better overall efficiency.

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