This year has shown us the importance of keeping a sound mind in a sound body. Healthcare is literally a vital part of our lives. As we know, blockchain technology is being actively implemented in different spheres of the real world – from finances (DeFi, banking) to the fashion and agriculture sectors.
Changelly continues to provide a series of articles about how blockchain technology can be applied to our daily routine and, what’s more important, how DLT can improve it. Today’s agenda is blockchain in healthcare: benefits, use cases, and future development.
Blockchain technology was introduced to bring transparency and trust to the digital finance sector and data sector. Like any other sector of the real world, the Healthcare industry suffers from a range of issues like lack of universal access, interoperability, security, etc. Once implemented in healthcare, blockchain can improve the whole system and help it to overcome issues that the sector is currently facing.
One of the most significant benefits of using the blockchain is the interoperability that it can offer. The Healthcare industry uses various types of protocols and standards to provide access to data in hospitals. The blockchain can solve all compatibility issues as it acts as a decentralized database. Access to data is possible, thanks to the API, with an emphasis on a standard data format. The blockchain can also seamlessly unite current platforms and protocols that are used for access and storage of data.
For example, you are a UK resident that (Satoshi forbid!) faces some health troubles somewhere in China. You decide to go to the hospital, but unfortunately, the doctor doesn’t know your medical history. Having a great decentralized (!) database with all your medical records would save the doctor’s time and health.
Blockchain technology in healthcare also solves many of the integrity challenges faced by the modern healthcare industry. The blockchain in healthcare today is well aware of how data is transferred between systems. With blockchain, data integrity can be maintained at all levels continuously. It also allows you to delete multiple instances of obsolete patient data.
In addition, after data loading to the blockchain, attackers cannot modify it, so the integrity is preserved. Only patients can change information when working with a doctor.
Security and privacy of patients’ medical data are doctors’ priority. The modern healthcare industry suffers from data leaks that cost companies millions of dollars and tons of doctors/patients’ nerves. Data fraud and theft are becoming a serious problem and must be dealt with appropriately.
The blockchain uses data encryption and private keys, and only the recipient can decrypt the contents using his own key.
The cost of care is also a critical issue of existing health systems. The current system requires maintenance for various operations and needs a dedicated team to ensure that all functions work appropriately and stay synchronized. The blockchain is devoid of this problem, as it functions as a distributed decentralized network.
Data is distributed over the network, which means there is no single point of failure. If a node fails, data can be obtained from other nodes since the network has several data copies. Each node has its own copy of the database. The backup mechanism is amazing: it will help hospitals cope with emergencies much better. Another advantage of having a backup copy on each node is that transaction costs are reduced when storing or receiving information.
Blockchain provides universal access to all its users. It does not depend on any central authority, which makes universal access impossible. Authorized persons can easily access data whenever and wherever they are. The entire process can be automated with the help of various mechanisms similar to smart contracts. In short, blockchain is promising for medicine and should also be encouraged in the work environment.
Blockchain in Healthcare: Use Cases
Let’s observe several successful cases when blockchain and healthcare are here to help achieve many ground-breaking results.
Solve.Care is a global platform aimed at bringing healthcare administration, security, cost reduction, and many more to the Healthcare industry. Solve.Care allows for setting appointments and managing payments.
The project has offices around the globe, including Singapore, Estonia, Ukraine, the USA, and the UK. The Solve.Care service is available in more than 80 countries, and the network keeps on growing.
Solve.Care provides a range of services like Care.Coin, Care.Cards, Care.Wallets. The latter is used as a personalized healthcare administrator and allows users to manage their medical activity: setting appointments, sharing medical records, etc.
In 2018, Solve.Care took a step forward to bring blockchain technology to the masses. The platform partnered with one of the largest healthcare providers in the USA, Arizona Care Network (ACN), which has over 5,000 doctors and hundreds of thousands of users.
Clinicoin is a platform that will reward participants for their healthy lifestyle. Information and personal medical data will be stored in the system, which will allow it to better track the results and develop individual plans. Participants will receive tokens for performing “healthy” actions. Health software and application developers can connect to the Clinicoin platform and earn CLIN tokens when clients use their applications. This is a chance for healthcare providers and researchers to enlarge their client base and collect useful data for research while offering tokens for information to users.
FarmaTrust is developing a fast, scalable, and secure blockchain solution that automates all stages of pharmaceutical product tracking in the supply chain.
The Zoi blockchain system created by the company helps minimize the costs and resources needed to monitor drugs fully. The platform integrates with existing corporate software solutions. It helps reduce the likelihood of destabilization of existing business processes, for example, due to disruption or delay in the supply of goods.
The platform uses a decentralized registry to store data on tracking medicines’ origin, smart contracts to automate legal product delivery, and artificial intelligence to predict drug needs. The platform provides services to governmental bodies and regulators, as well as to pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.
BurstIQ is a blockchain-based project that offers decentralized solutions for the health industry. BurstIQ believes that users should own and manage their data, be ensured that their data is safe, and be able to help society with their data. That is why BurstIQ creates a proper environment for bringing its belief into reality.
The platform provides all the necessary tools to get health information exchange, enterprise data networks, care coordination, national health record networks, and much more. Among BurstIQ partners are the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Hitachi Vantara, Tribe Health, etc.
Future of Crypto and Blockchain in Healthcare
The projects mentioned above are the first steps towards integrating blockchain into medicine. Healthcare offers a huge field for the implementation of new ideas.
Healthcare is one of the most important sectors of our lives. And once blockchain steps into the industry in it’s full, we can get a transparent, globally available, and secure network that will organize medical data flawlessly.
Of course, when it comes to introducing new technology, economic feasibility plays a key role. But in medical blockchain startups, everyone wins – not only patients but also clinics and insurance companies.