The healthcare industry is complex, with numerous players involved in patient care. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and even government institutions are among them. Blockchain technology has the potential to simplify communication among healthcare providers, making it easier to transmit crucial health care information. Market players are noticing this technology due to its data management skills in terms of decentralization and security using distributed data technology. Following its relatively successful deployment in the financial industry, different sectors are now recognizing its benefits and acknowledging its potential in their respective domains.
Ways the Healthcare is Transforming the Industry
There are several advantages that are provided by the blockchain technology in the healthcare industry like data security and data monitoring
Blockchain for Electrical Health Record (EHR)
The optimal solution with EHRs is to keep a lifelong medical record and make it available to physicians, lab technicians, and other healthcare providers. In the present EHR deployment, patient data is held in multiple organizations during the course of the patient's life. They have the potential to improve patient care while also lowering costs and saving lives. However, maintaining electronic health records have its own challenge. Data security is one of the most significant challenges. Electronic health records are now maintained on central databases that are subject to hacking and data breaches. As a result, patient data may be compromised. Blockchain technology has the ability to alleviate this issue by enabling the storage of electronic health records in a decentralized and secure manner.
Clinical Research & Blockchain
As per a report, the global clinical trial services market was valued at ~US$ 18.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to witness a CAGR of ~7.0% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2030 due to growing cases of chronic diseases and viruses around the globe. Furthermore, the growth can also be attributed to the rising technological advancement, increasing government & private initiatives, and the rising geriatric population. However, the blockchain technology has the ability to contribute to the resolution of these issues by providing a safe and transparent means of storing and managing clinical trial data. Each step of the clinical trial process needs to be recorded on the blockchain, making it simple to manage data and discover problems.
Blood Plasma Supply Chain and Blockchain
Blockchain technology in healthcare also has the ability to streamline the plasma supply chain and provide accurate, up-to-date information to all parties. Plasma derivatives are critical components of many life-saving treatments, and the existing supply chain is complicated, with multiple hospitals and blood banks worldwide engaging in plasma collection, processing, and distribution. Unfortunately, this system is frequently plagued by mistakes and inefficiencies, resulting in crucial plasma shortages when patients require it the most. According to a research, the plasma supply chain market is quickly expanding and is expected to be worth $15.5 billion by 2024. The market shortage of plasma can have major effects, including increasing death rates. As a result, blockchain has the potential to alleviate these issues by offering a decentralised platform for all parties to share information and track plasma shipments in real time.
Challenges of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Industry
Despite potential advantages blockchain offers, there are several challenges implementing this technology. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a US healthcare regulation that establishes tight guidelines for use and sharing of patient data. Blockchain technology may be able to assist healthcare firms in meeting HIPAA and other data protection standards however, it is unclear how blockchain technology can be employed in accordance with these restrictions. As a result, a well-planned architecture is an evident brilliant solution with the system's components produced by storing the on-chain and off-chain data after carefully researching the data types that would make sense in the respective domains. Combining on-chain and off-chain data, for example, in either a traditional RDBMS/No-SQL or an IPFS, can overcome the data limit problem.
What is the Future of Blockchain in Healthcare?
The technology will not fundamentally alter the healthcare industry in the upcoming years however, the tech revolution is on its way to becoming a healthcare revolution. Under contrast to traditional systems, where the central authority accesses and distributes data over the network, each patient maintains ownership of medical records in blockchain technology architecture. Only a few healthcare organizations have access to medical records (individuals or organizations). Data shared over the blockchain network enables real-time updates to all healthcare companies. A distributed ledger can provide secure access to the patient's data. Data duplication is reduced since just one copy of the data is visible to everyone.