Blockchain is a decentralized ledger, that stores information in distributed and incorruptible nodes. Lately, it has been disrupting industries all around the world. Blockchain has helped business processes to get more efficient and less tedious. This article will give you a quick look into the challenges of the healthcare sector that are solvable with Blockchain.
Challenges faced by the Healthcare Sector:
The healthcare sector comprises of the pharma industry and hospitals. Even though this sector has now digitized most of its processes, it still is struggling with a lot of hurdles.
1) Data Breaching:
The healthcare sector collects millions of patient records on a daily basis. But, the data is sensitive information, which is an easy target of cybercriminals. There were over 32 million data record breaches in 2019, and the number keeps increasing every year. Almost certainly, digitizing data has been one factor of these breaches.
2) Scattered Patient Records:
The patients have scattered records in different hospitals and laboratories. Before going to a doctor, they have to take a file of reports of their history. Moreover, they might sometimes have to collect different reports from all the hospitals too. Thus, this factor wastes the time of the patient who has a risk of his health.
3) Counterfeit Drug Trading:
The supply of drugs from their manufacturer to the consumer can be a tedious and sensitive process. It can take months or even years to get the drugs to the right destination. Counterfeit drugs are medications that are deliberately modified with fake labels and fraudulent ingredients and data that represents a deceptive origin of the drugs. There is an abundance of counterfeit pharmaceuticals all over the world, and there is no end to their growth. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), counterfeit pharmaceuticals succeed in trading illegal medicines worth more than 73 billion euros annually across different regions of the world, including countries like Germany, USA, Italy, and Spain. As a result, illegal online pharmacies, who hide their true location and lack any appropriate certification, are 50% counterfeits.
Healthcare Revolution With Blockchain:
Blockchain technology with its disruptive nature is taking over all the industries in the world. One of them is the healthcare industry. Blockchain has the potential to transform the healthcare sector with its undeniably incorruptible, interoperable and scalable properties. We now know about some of the healthcare issues of healthcare. However, Blockchain has successfully solved some of these problems. Let’s see how:
Improvement in the Electronic Health Information Exchange:
Electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a way to access and share a patient’s medical data electronically, which helps to improve efficiency and saves time. Blockchain technology can help further improve HIE by making the records and transmission of data more efficient, secure, immutable and scalable. This can be done by building proof-of-data integrity, and with the help of this proof, patients and healthcare providers don’t actually have to rely on any middleman to ensure the security of their data. It can also make patient records safe from cybercriminals, who wish to steal the patient information and misuse it. It also has the potential to keep all the patient and healthcare sector records intact, making sure none of it is ever changed with its immutability property.
Hence, Blockchain can help improve doctor-patient interaction by providing effective features. Features like quick patient history look-ups, and by keeping all the scattered appointments from different hospitals in one easily accessible ledger.
Some real-world healthcare products of Blockchain in Healthcare are:
Patientory is a decentralized application that enables doctors, clinicians, patients and other healthcare organizations to communicate effectively. It gives the patients ease to manage their health records and transfer their medical history securely. Patientory uses Blockchain technology to provide end-to-end encryption while making sure about the compliance requirements. It helps the doctors to manage their appointment schedules, place electronic orders or set automated reminders to save up on time. Patientory also comes with a secure messaging platform that enables customers to share information with doctors, family members, specialists, nurses or even chat with them! The app integrates with your mobile apps and wearables that help you monitor vital signs of your health, saving plenty of insights of you.
AzaadHealth is an online Blockchain-powered, HIPAA compliant platform, that enables hospitals or any healthcare providers to transmit and receive all sorts of medical information about patients. A team in Pakistan built this application to help patients collect their data in one secure place. So whenever a patient has to go to a doctor, he doesn’t have to take a pile of reports of his history with him. To sum up, AzaadHealth is a complete health information management platform with data analytic tools for the use of the whole family to save all their health information in one place.
Eradicating Counterfeit Drug Trade and Advancing the Drug Supply Chain:
Blockchain technology satisfies every criterion needed for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) compliance. Which makes it the perfect technology to solve the counterfeit drug trading issue. SAP is a software company with its headquarters in Germany. It builds software for corporations to help them manage their business processes. Recently, it came up with a solution to the counterfeit drug problem, a Blockchain technology hub, named ‘The Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences’. With this technology, the customer can scan the barcode of the purchased item, to check it’s product code, serial number, and other important trading information (who manufactured the product, its origin, where it was stored, who it was sold to by whom, etc.) registered by the manufacturer and stored on the Blockchain. Hence, this use of technology will reduce the exposure of patients to counterfeit drugs as well as help trace the right prescription drugs. Chronicled is a company that has integrated Blockchain in their solutions that target the efficiency of supply chains:
Chronicled is a company that provides solutions that create smarter, secure and more automated supply chains for industries. These solutions ensure that all the parties are synchronized and can transact easily, to overcome drug counterfeiting. Moreover, they ensure whether the goods or drugs are traded to verified customers and businesses. They provide proper traceability of the goods from and to the customers and make the cross-business supply chain more efficient with Blockchain. You can automate the slow and tedious processes of supply chains like ordering, processing invoices, transactions and orders with tamper-proof Chronicled Blockchain solutions. Check out Chronicled for more insights!
In conclusion, disruptive Blockchain technology has helped solve some of the major issues of the healthcare sector and will continue to do so. There are many organizations who are experimenting with Blockchain to make healthcare operations more efficient, safe and secure. Xord can help you revamp your healthcare operations with Blockchain technology. Contact Xord here: https://xord.one/contact/.