Last Updated on by
We have been discussing blockchain applications in various industries and in our daily life. Today we shall discuss blockchain in healthcare and medicine and also the implementation of blockchain in healthcare.
Discussing about the blockchain opportunities in healthcare, there are numerous applications, some of which have already been in implementation in pilot projects. Definitely, there are benefits of using blockchain in healthcare and, we shall discuss them in detail with all the positives and negatives.
Lately blockchain healthcare projects reports are floating a lot in the market and let’s hope that all of them see implementation of blockchain in healthcare industry.
Blockchain technology has also gained attention in implementing IoT in healthcare and neural researches, delivery of safe and secure healthcare data management, transforming healthcare practices to more reliable by safe and secure data sharing.
Blockchain in Healthcare
Healthcare industry is a data intensive domain. Storing and disseminating this large amount of sensitive data is not only crucial but also challenging. Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of the healthcare data is where blockchain comes into picture.
Discussing the potential of the blockchain in healthcare, the technology can find use in the field of medicines, genomics, telemedicine, e-health, neuroscience and some of the personalized healthcare applications. All these use blockchain for securing the data, interaction of different types of transactions to name few of the uses.
Blockchain Application in Healthcare – Electronic Health Records
The most common application of blockchain in healthcare is in the area of retaining electronic medical records.
Generally, health and medical records of a patient are scattered among various medical institutions. The medical fraternity and the regulatory compliances were always in a need for a comprehensive and centralized health record repository.
Blockchain helps in managing these records with its intrinsic features of authentication, confidentiality, integrity, ease of sharing data in a decentralized records management system.
Example of the above has been successfully tested in a prototype called MedRec. MedRec stores a mark of the record on a blockchain and advises patients. The mark guarantees for the unchanged duplicate of the record was taken when required.
Blockchain in Clinical Research
Blockchain can address range of issues like data privacy, data integrity, patient enrolling, data sharing, record keeping to name a few. In all probabilities, blockchain, together with artificial intelligence and machine learning will change the overall landscape of clinical research.
There have been conceptual ideas of using smart contracts in clinical database management systems in patient enrolment and create the workflow life-cycle.
Blockchain in Healthcare in Medical Fraud Detection
This is one of the most talked about application of blockchain in healthcare in the supply chain industry. Especially, in the developing countries, there are approx. 25% counterfeit drugs and medicines which are too difficult to be traced.
Blockchain provides a safe and secure platform to eliminate this issue. The technology provides data transparency and improved product traceability.
Blockchain in Neuroscience
Modern neural technologies are used in controlling devices and data through commands. Such neural devices can interpret the patterns of brain activity by translating them into commands for controlling external devices and detecting the current mental state of a person based on the available data of the brain activities. Reading and interpreting the neural signals are solved by the neural interface devices which are further equipped with several sensors, computing chips and wireless communication devices. These neural devices read the activities of the brain and decipher, and transmit to the equipment.
Blockchain finds its application in this together with big data analytics. One of the companies already working on this application is Geneva based Neurogress. Neurogress plans to use blockchain to address the problem of data storage and privacy. Data is stored on a decentralised blockchain making it immutable yet open and transparent for users of the company’s platform.
Broadly, digitising the human brain shall require some data storage, and here blockchain technology will be indispensable. There is proposal of making blockchain thinking as an input-processing-output computational system and their potential integration.
Blockchain shall be used by allowing an interconnected network of computers to interact at intervals of a timestamp to validate the source and truth of the ledger.
Maybe, in the future, using an advanced version of this technology, when two or more people experience the same moment, though from subjective perspectives, we could reassemble their experiences to be more objective about the happenings of that moment. Ideally, this would enable the creation of virtual simulations for past memories, and the potential to see subjectively from someone else’s perspective.
Blockchain in Pharmaceuticals
Blockchain finds application in both pharmaceutical industry and the associated research in evaluating, monitoring and ensuring the production processes of potential drugs. It helps to monitor, evaluate and ensure the overall process of developing and supplying pharmaceutical drugs through the use of digital technologies.
Blockchain helps in tracking the production and location of the drugs at any given time and also in the traceability of fake drugs.
Blockchain Opportunities in Healthcare
As internet revolutionized the use of technology in daily life, blockchain technology is likely to take medical science to the next level in the future. It will reduce the cost of monitoring, configuration and a central data repository for the administration and management of all the data.
Blockchain will reduce processing time. The medical practitioners won’t have to worry about the integrity and availability of data. There will be less chances of errors in the medical history.
Patients won’t have to worry for the second opinion from another data due the transparency of data. Patient record on the blockchain will lead to people knowing and connecting with numerous others around the globe with similar medical conditions.
Please also read: