Will Blockchain Revolutionize Healthcare? The Truth or A Hype

0
77

Healthcare is an essential component of our society, continually evolving to satisfy the demands of patients and healthcare professionals. In recent years, there has been considerable speculation regarding blockchain technology and its potential to change the healthcare industry. But is this merely a fad, or can blockchain technology and a blockchain dApp development company for healthcare make a difference?

Given that IBM, Microsoft, and Google are investing in blockchain research for healthcare, it is clear that there must be something to this technology, and it does not appear to be a fad.

The e-health foundation of the Estonian government collaborated with Guardtime to store all health records on a secure, decentralized platform. This facilitates improved patient care, as physicians can access medical records anywhere.

According to PR Newswire, the global blockchain in the healthcare market is anticipated to reach $7,308,32 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 76.30 per cent between 2021 and 2028.

This article will examine how blockchain technology can change the healthcare industry. We will also address blockchain use cases in healthcare and the obstacles that must be overcome before blockchain technology can be extensively used in the healthcare industry. Therefore, without further ado, let’s begin!

What is blockchain in healthcare?

The healthcare industry is intricate, with numerous parties involved in patient care. This category includes physicians, hospitals, insurance firms, and even government institutions. Blockchain technology could streamline communication between various stakeholders, facilitating the exchange of vital healthcare information.

For instance, blockchain for healthcare is utilized to develop a decentralized, secure platform for keeping medical records. This grants people complete control over their health information and makes it easier for medical practitioners to access blockchain-based medical records from any location.

Additionally, there have been several hacking or theft cases involving sensitive medical data in the past.

According to GlobeNewswire, more than 50,400,000 medical records were compromised in 2021. The World Health Organization believes that 30% of pharmaceuticals in portions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia are potentially counterfeit.

However, these large numbers necessitate various steps to assist the healthcare business in overcoming these issues and finding permanent solutions. This is where blockchain technology in healthcare comes into play since it may lower the risk of data fraud, boost transparency, and develop more effective healthcare systems.

Ways blockchain is transforming the healthcare industry

The healthcare business can benefit from blockchain technology in several ways, including data security and monitoring. In this section, we will cover some of the most important benefits and industry-enhancing applications of this technology:

1. Improved data security

The healthcare business can benefit from blockchain technology in several ways, including data security and monitoring. In this section, we will cover some of the most important benefits and industry-enhancing applications of this technology:

2. 24/7 data monitoring

Continuous data monitoring is a must for managing and optimizing electronic health records in the healthcare industry. Every day, many human lives are at stake, and even a small margin of error can have catastrophic results.

From the patient’s blood pressure readings to the doctor’s prescriptions, all health-related data must be monitored and available around the clock. Nevertheless, the existing healthcare infrastructure is frequently unable to provide this level of data accessibility due to interoperability issues, data breaches, etc.

The blockchain comes into play here. The dispersed nature of this technology enables round-the-clock data accessibility and aids in managing electronic health records. Moreover, blockchain can assist in resolving interoperability concerns by offering a standardized platform for exchanging data between various healthcare providers.

3. Improved clinical trials

According to research, the global market for clinical trials was worth USD 38.7 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 52.0 billion by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 6.1%. The increasing number of clinical trials, the rising demand for R&D outsourcing, and drug commercialization drive this market’s expansion.

However, the clinical trial procedure is frequently lengthy and intricate, involving multiple parties. This can result in inefficiencies and delays, which can hurt the success of clinical trials. Moreover, clinical trial data is frequently compartmentalized, making it difficult to share information.

Blockchain technology can resolve these issues by providing a transparent and secure method for storing and managing clinical trial data. Each step of the clinical trial process would be recorded on the blockchain using blockchain technology, making it simple to track data and identify errors. In addition, blockchain might be utilized to authenticate the identities of patients and physicians, guaranteeing that only authorized parties have access to clinical trial data.

4. Improved drug safety

Adverse medication responses are a significant issue within the healthcare business. They are responsible for tens of thousands of hospitalizations and fatalities each year. In addition, annual estimates place the expense of treating adverse medication responses in the billions of dollars.

A database utilizing blockchain technology can be used to track the origin of medications along the supply chain. This would enable the early detection of counterfeit or adulterated pharmaceuticals. Blockchain is being utilized to monitor patient outcomes, enabling the early detection of unfavourable reactions.

One way that blockchain could alter the healthcare industry is by improving drug safety.

5. Smart contracts

Smart contracts on the blockchain have the potential to streamline a variety of healthcare industry processes. For instance, they could process insurance claims, verify eligibility for benefits, and schedule appointments automatically.

In addition, smart contracts could be used to manage patient data and medical records, ensuring that only authorized parties have access to sensitive information.

6. Claims and billing management

Claims and billing management entails the filing and processing medical claims relating to a patient’s diagnosis, medications, and treatments. Multiple incidents in which medical records have been compromised, leading to fraud and theft.

As the technology works by recording medical data and storing it in an open digital ledger, any changes to the information are visible to everyone who is a part of the blockchain; blockchain makes it easy to eliminate these instances.

In addition to the advantages mentioned above of blockchain in healthcare, there are numerous other advantages, such as reducing medical errors, improving public health, and more.

Now that we understand how blockchain alters the healthcare industry let’s examine several use cases in healthcare that validate blockchain technology.

Blockchain healthcare use cases

While blockchain healthcare startups are implementing some healthcare blockchain use cases, others are being piloted by large organizations to secure their operations. Let’s examine some healthcare industry applications of blockchain technology.

Drug traceability

Drug traceability is the capacity to track a drug product from manufacturers to patients along the supply chain. Blockchain technology can transform drug traceability by providing an immutable record of drug product movement. Currently, most drug traceability systems rely on a centralized database that can be compromised.

A blockchain-based system would provide an immutable, decentralized record of all drug product movements. This would enable regulators to identify and recall fake products swiftly. In conjunction with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, blockchain could also be used to provide real-time drug product tracking. This would enable a more effective and efficient response to drug shortages and recalls.

In this regard, Walmart, IBM, Merck, and KPMG collaborated to test a blockchain-based solution for pharmaceutical drug supply chain tracking. This project’s objective was to ensure that the drugs were authentic and met all quality standards.

Electronic health records

Electronic health records are another key healthcare use case for blockchain technology. They can potentially increase the quality of patient care, decrease costs, and save lives. Nonetheless, electronic health records provide several obstacles. Data security is one of the most significant challenges.

Electronic health records are now maintained on central databases that are susceptible to hacking and data breaches.

This puts patient information at risk of compromise. By providing a decentralized and secure method for storing electronic health records, blockchain technology has the potential to solve this issue. Patients can access their medical information via blockchain technology, ensuring that only authorized parties can view it. Numerous blockchain-based healthcare firms are already implementing blockchain-based electronic health record systems.

Medicalchain, a blockchain-based healthcare company based in the United Kingdom, has established a secure platform for storing and sharing health records. Another example is Patientory, which is developing a blockchain-based electronic health record solution to empower people to manage their health outcomes.

Blood plasma supply chain

In healthcare, blockchain technology could streamline the plasma supply chain and ensure that all parties have access to correct, up-to-date information. Plasma derivatives are key components of multiple life-saving treatments. The present plasma supply chain is intricate, with hospitals and blood banks from around the world collecting, processing, and distributing plasma.

Unfortunately, this method is frequently plagued with inaccuracies and inefficiencies, resulting in plasma shortages when patients require it most. According to research, the plasma supply chain market is anticipated to be worth $15.5 billion by 2024. Increased mortality rates may be a dire consequence of the plasma shortage in the market.

Therefore, blockchain has the potential to alleviate these issues by offering a decentralized platform where all parties can share information and follow plasma shipments in real-time. In this approach, blockchain could ensure that patients always have access to lifesaving therapies.

In this context, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) teamed with EY Canada to utilize blockchain technology to give real-time traceability and system-wide visibility of blood products.

Prescription drug monitoring

Prescription drug monitoring is also a use case for blockchain technology in healthcare. It is estimated that more than 6% of the U.S. population, or 18 million Americans aged 12 and older, used prescription medicines in the past year. By providing a safe and tamper-proof method for tracking prescription medications, blockchain technology has the potential to aid in the resolution of this issue.

A record is created and stored on the blockchain whenever a prescription drug is dispensed using blockchain technology. This would allow authorities to track the transfer of prescription medications and discover abuse patterns. In addition, blockchain technology might be used to validate the identities of patients and physicians, guaranteeing that only authorized individuals have access to prescription drugs.

BlockMedx, a business developing a platform that allows patients to store and manage their prescriptions securely, is working on a blockchain solution for electronic prescription solutions. The BlockMedx platform would also enable pharmacists to confirm the legitimacy of prescriptions and monitor the movement of prescription drugs.

Wrapping Up

The advantages of blockchain in healthcare creates unique opportunities to reduce complexity, enable trustless collaboration, and produce secure and immutable data.

So, there you have it. A healthcare revolution has yet to occur due to blockchain technology, but it is inevitable. Suffescom is a trustworthy and dependable app development firm that offers blockchain development services to help you expand your business if you believe your organization is ready to embrace change and adopt new concepts.