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Blockchain In Healthcare: Applications and Challenges

Blockchain In Healthcare: Applications and Challenges


We all have heard about ‘Blockchain Technology’ before, in reference to Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology is the underlying technology behind all the cryptocurrencies. It is one of the most important and advanced technologies in the world. Multiple industries are accepting it to innovate the way they operate. Blockchain Technology has laid a supportive hand in other areas too including Healthcare.

Burgeoning businesses demand the need to bring subversive changes in all the facets of their businesses as time and technology advances. When it comes to the field of healthcare, the importance of growth intensifies to higher levels. Quality healthcare services endorsed up with the current technology is the need for today. Also, the healthcare system panorama is shifting towards a more patient-centric path which targets two major components namely, cost-effective treatment and relevant healthcare facilities at all times.

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle, Blockchain technology has gone beyond the “innovation trigger” and is at “peak of inflated expectations.” It holds the capability to agitate different industries such as finance, banking, supply chain, and healthcare. But before plunging right into the details of how Blockchain is touching healthcare, let’s understand what is it first.

Brief Outlook about Blockchain

The functioning of a Blockchain depends on three major axioms that have existed for long. Joint working of these axioms allows Blockchain to provide guarded and intact digital relationships.

  • Private key cryptography —  A secret key that is used as a variable along with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt the code. The key is kept private even when the algorithm is not. The reference to creating a safe digital identity occurs in Blockchain however, the transactions are on the open network.
  • Distributed ledgers — A distributed ledger can also be called as a shared ledger which refers to the accord of shared records. Any differences made in the ledgers are reflected within seconds.
  • Authentication — The process that proves genuineness is authentication. All the transactions are authenticated before adding them to the chain. It takes place through algorithms that validate and verify all the transactions. The authenticity is sealed once the information is encrypted, digitally signed and stored.

Healthcare firms, technology discoverers and the members of the overall healthcare industry are looking out for techniques to find out what’s attainable in the present times and what Blockchain could do to make healthcare exceptional and cost-effective in the future.

Blockchain Elixir for Healthcare

Blockchain has the potential to bring out a colossal breakthrough in the healthcare system as it can easily bring prominent changes in the healthcare management of the patient. It holds the ability to strongly enhance patient care quality while keeping up the funds at an affordable rate. All the disputes and barriers that occur in multiple level authentication can be removed through Blockchain. With the growing adoption rate, Blockchain has made its way to the healthcare sector. Even in its initial stage, the technology is being promptly accepted by people in the healthcare system.

Applications of Blockchain in Healthcare

Having considered the relevance of Blockchain technology in the Healthcare sector and the changes it could bring, here are a few use cases that employ the capability of the technology and could make the healthcare sector more reachable, guarded and reliable.

Population Health Data

Population health data refers to the medical information of a particular area mathematically. For example, it may be health risk information for women suffering from cancer in the group of 20–45 years. To acknowledge the risks across a differing population, the data is usually provided in an undisclosed form and no names are made public in these cases. When coming to population health management, the biggest complications faced till date are data security, shareability, and interoperability. Blockchain allows improved security, data sharing, interoperability, data integrity, and real-time update and approach.

Drug Traceability

Duplication of drugs along with fake drugs in the stockpile chain composes a huge loss of billions of dollars per year. Promulgation of duplicate drugs is one serious problem in the pharmaceutical arena.

Security is one such feature of Blockchain technology that can be used is Drug Traceability. Every new transaction can be added to a block which will be unchangeable as well as timestamped. This makes the product tracing easy and ensures no alterations are made. To ensure the traceability and authenticity of medical drugs, pharmaceutical companies registering any specific drug on the Blockchain needs to be trustworthy. Hence,  private Blockchains are used in which the control is taken care of by a central authority. Such companies are given authentication and thus nothing can be altered.

Blockchain technology also helps in patient data management and clinical trials and security

The capability of Blockchain for healthcare depends on the acknowledgment of the new technology within the healthcare system in order to create a mark. There are few concerns and opinions regarding Blockchain’s indulgence with present healthcare systems and its cultural acceptance, the technology is still in the healthcare sector.

With so many efficient use cases and capabilities, Blockchain is sure to rattle the healthcare scenario for good.To get detailed knowledge of this technology works, you can get certified through various Blockchain Certification Courses available online.

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