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The healthcare system is swiftly moving towards a patient-centric approach which focuses on the main priorities in healthcare, i.e. affordable treatment and appropriate facilities that operate 24/7 without a flaw. You must have heard about the latest trend of Blockchain technology which is being used by the high-level healthcare and medical facilities. But do you understand what it is and how it can be leveraged? If not, this article is for you.

What is Blockchain and how does it apply to the healthcare system?

According to Healthcare Weekly, Blockchain is a decentralized system which is responsible for keeping historical and current records. Therefore, maintaining them also becomes easy from a peer-to-peer network system. In simple terms, blockchain serves as an immutable public digital ledger similar to a database. The system is so powerful that it can undoubtedly cause a seismic shift in every industry. According to the Healthcare Weekly Magazine, 40% of healthcare executives agree that blockchain adoption is a top 5 priority in the industry.

You must have heard about the concept in the Cryptocurrency, but now blockchain is used for more than just handling cryptocurrency transactions. The application is extended to various fields and the latest one is the healthcare system. So, you must be wondering how the blockchain in the healthcare system can revolutionize the healthcare system.

What are the Applications of Blockchain in Healthcare System?

The Blockchain concept in healthcare system allows the service to handle multiple entities and sync them for the proper update and sharing the already existing data.

With such a system in place, companies leveraging blockchain will be able to share and track their data and other activities without any additional component. According to Digital Authority Partners, the introduction of Blockchain in healthcare is more like removing the middleman in a transaction and about increasing the security of the patients. It will further improve transactional activities and eliminate bureaucracy and manual inefficiency. As a result of the quality of care and democratizing of patient data also get advanced.

So, here are a few cases that would help the health care system to utilize the potential of the technology and make the industry more accessible, secure, and reliable.

Application 1:  Population Health Data:

Population health data refers to particular demographic and their collectively generated, classified and analyzed medical information. The biggest challenges faced by companies dealing in population health management include data security, interoperability, and shareability. If patient information is stored on multiple systems and isolated, then the smooth exchange of the information would not be possible.  Thereby, population health data sets across patients become inaccessible.

Blockchain provides a reliable solution to this challenge. When a service employs blockchain solutions correctly, they will not only improve data security, data sharing, and interoperability but also add data integrity and Real-time updates to the database. Using blockchain will allow health organizations to participate in health studies and monetize user data in the token-form. This can also improve the delivery of care across a diverse population.

Application 2: Secure Healthcare Setups:

The present-day healthcare systems operate through a single central database. And the database is managed single-handedly by one entity in the organization. This approach leads to several problems. And the most common is the lack of data accessibility. In case someone attacks the system, they will be able to access the database and it put patients and the organization in a dilemma.

Therefore, blockchain-based systems can help prevent this. They can improve the internal infrastructure of the organization. This can help independent entities have different access levels. And the blockchain encrypted ledger can save the organization from external attacks and other threats too. It will also deal with other issues like data corruption or hardware failures.

Application 3: Payments through Cryptocurrency:

Once the blockchain system is implemented in the healthcare system, health organizations can also start accepting cryptocurrency payments. The patients will be able to use digital currency instead of hard cash or fiat money. You will be amazed to know that almost $30 million in healthcare related frauds were detected in the healthcare system in the United States in 2016.

Luckily, through the use of Blockchain technologies, the possibility of deploying the right fraud-free solution increases significantly. Services can eliminate frauds advertently. The automatic billing processing will remove third parties from the chain and the services will experience a reduction in the overall administrative costs. Plus, it will be easy for the Medical Care systems to track the currency to make sure that no frauds are made.

Application 4: Drug Traceability:

Many healthcare system and services deal with the major loss of billions of dollars each year only because of the fake drugs supply. According to the Cupertino Times Magazine, 10 to 30% of drugs in the developing countries are counterfeit drugs.  And the U.S. healthcare bears a loss of approx. $200 billion on an annual basis due to these fake drugs. Luckily, blockchain can be used to trace the drug origin and journey through the supply chain and keep it secure, no matter what.

With blockchain, every new transaction (i.e. the drug’s movement through the supply chain) will be time stamped and thus immutable. It will ensure that the product is tracked and the information inside the block cannot be altered. This will also act as a proof that the drugs are authentic and safe to use.

Ultimately, it can be said that blockchain adds the feature of data transparency and helps manufacturers, distributors, and retailers find the path of origin for the drug. Thus, it will eradicate the process of circulating fake drugs in various countries.

Along with these above applications, the blockchain system can also be used in Clinical Trials and Data security, Patient Data Management, etc. The potential of the Blockchain depends on the acceptance of new technology in the system. There are services that are concerned with the speculations of the Blockchain. But apart from the concerns, the integration of the concept in current healthcare is still getting popular. Interested in working with agencies that can help you decide whether blockchain is a good investment for your health organization? Check out this list of consulting companies that have worked with blockchain technologies in the past.