Blockchain technology is about to bring a comprehensive innovation in the Healthcare industry
Healthcare is one of the largest and most significant industries in the world. There are a lot of advancements happening in this industry over a period of time, in regards to healthcare research and innovation(vertical innovation). However, in terms of technological advancements,there is a lot more to achieve (horizontal innovation). Huge part of this industry still works on manual intervention and physical paperwork, records and maintenance.
A very little aid of technology is taken to make the system easier to work in.
Whereas, a lot of furtherance can happen by the technological collaboration with the healthcare industry. More so, with the help of, Blockchain,AI and IoT integration.
Some of the major Issues in Healthcare sector in the conventional system
Lack of Interoperability
As most of the time, the information of patients is in hard copy physical form, it needs to be safely protected and carried over to different departments in the hospital or through pharmaceuticals and other relevant places like health insurance offices, etc. There is always a chance of data loss. There is very little or no interoperability between the relevant partners involved.
Duplication of tests
If the patient decides to take a second opinion from another hospital, he/she needs to have the tests done all over again,leading to duplication, high cost and waste of time.
Lack of Patient’s control on the data
The patient does not have any control over, whom his/her personal data is shared with. This leads to trust issues with critical health information.
Unnecessary time and cost involvement
The duplication of data, creating and maintaining the paperwork,involving the manual overhead to manage the same,ultimately leads to a lot of time involvement and unnecessary cost incurred.
Fear of data tampering
As there is no patient’s control over the data, there is always a risk of data tampering, which leads to a huge trust gap between the partners involved.
It is a contract made with a set of rules,that are built as per agreement upon, by the various partners involved in the contract. More technically, it is a set of code running on the top of blockchain. The agreement is automatically enforced, when the predefined rules are met.
It validates, facilitates and verifies the performance of any transaction happening, within the agreement. Being the simplest form of decentralized automation, it can be written in coding languages of blockchain platforms.
Partners involved in Smart Contract for Healthcare industry:
All the parties that are interoperable in the healthcare industry,can be involved in the smart contract.
The patient, the healthcare providers, health consultants, hospitals and health systems, laboratories, payer connections, paramedics and pharmaceuticals, health insurance companies and other related partners that are feasible to be involved in the smart contract.
How Blockchain can help overcome the issues and improvise the system
As the data is stored on the blockchain, it is available to the authorized partners anywhere in the world, with the help of IoT. This promotes a high level of interoperability within the healthcare domain.
Decentralized powerful system
As there is no intermediary involved, the data is stored in decentralized and distributed ledgers and thus creating a more powerful and reliable system.
Saves lot of time and money
As the patient information becomes available at the tip of fingers, it saves a lot of data storage, maintenance and data accessibility cost and thus saving a lot more on time.
High Data Accessibility
As the data is easily available, it would lead to less or no data duplication,and the patient’s history can be made accessible from time to time, to the involved partners.
Patient Centered system
The patient has the complete authority on who can access his/her health data. This generates a highly secure patient centered system.
Filling the Trust Gap
When the data is very crucial and vulnerable, data security becomes the most important factor for any system. As the data is immutable and can be accessed by only authorized healthcare smart contract partners, it fills the trust gap between all the involved smart contract partners.