Blockchain focuses on protecting data in the healthcare industry by improving security and taking away the middle man in the sharing of data across various services. It is positioned to be the next best thing in healthcare in 2019 to put a stop to data breaches happening across America on a daily basis.
Not only does it make patient data more accessible to those who need to see it, but it also improves patient care. The decentralized list of digital records linked together by cryptography, or code, has been specifically designed to stop mistakes between practices and save the healthcare industry $100-$150 billion per year by 2025.
So, not only is the US investing 20% of its GDP on healthcare, but it is also introducing technology that will save money in the long run.
There are various analytics used to measure how well healthcare organizations are providing their services, however, few seem to the use of blockchain.
But how is blockchain currently being used?
Blockchain allows data to be shared much more effectively across healthcare providers, meaning patient diagnosis is much quicker, treatment is much more effective and cost-effective care can be delivered. Healthcare stakeholders will be able to share data across to other networks without compromising data, meaning it is much safer to provide a high level of care.
The full history of every patient’s health will be available to view via blockchain including every recorded vital signs, every visit to the doctors, every minor illness and every operation. Undoubtedly, the quality of care will rise.
As AI is on the rise in the healthcare industry, it’s important that care on all levels in taken seriously and data is handled in the best way possible.
Thanks to blockchain, all healthcare transactions will soon be monitored on a decentralized document which means data movement is more secure, quicker, cheaper and without risk of human errors. Health organizations can find it difficult and expensive to manage their own data, so blockchain takes away the pressure. According to Digital Authority Partners, 75% of health data breaches in the last 7 years were due to hacking, and hackers sell digital records for up to $1,000 each on the black market. By securely recording every healthcare transaction, the risk of records entering into the wrong hands is significantly lower.
The 9th Annual Industry Pulse Survey provided critical insights from 185 healthcare leaders on 16 crucial topics for the healthcare industry in 2019, including market trends, critical and data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.
If security is on the minds of healthcare leaders, then they’re sure to move fast when it comes to blockchain.
Improves the drug supply chain
The pharma market has to take extra care to make sure counterfeit drugs don’t make their way onto the market. Due to a severe lack of digital platforms in the past to track where each and every drug has come from, many pharmaceutical companies struggle to know where their products are being used and what for.
Luckily, blockchain is providing an answer to this. The software can run across multiple networks meaning that recorded data cannot be copied or manipulated in any way. Every stage of the drug supply and demand chain can now be followed. This will not only bring the cost of drugs down for patients, but will make it much tougher for fake medicine to make its way into the chain.
It isn’t just drugs where this comes in handy, either. Even the WWF will be using blockchain company Viant to track fish from catch right through to the plate to keep an eye on seafood sustainability.
According to Healthcare Weekly, 61 percent of pharma companies have blockchain implementation in the pipeline.
Clinical trials are highly sensitive so they need to be extremely secure. Blockchains improved security makes it much easier to track every entry and store it safely. Blockchain can be made completely visible or completely protected, meaning that data is accessible to those who need it and is protected from those who don’t.
In 2018, the FDA started an initiative to define the best way of using blockchain to exchange health data which means that it’s very likely others will start to follow suit.
Finding medical trail candidates
Finding candidates for drug trials via patient IDs mapped onto EHR data involves a lot of manual work and can be complicated. Blockchain automatically replicates patient data to each EHR which eliminates duplicate data and keeps patient ID closeby. Physicians will be able to enter details for the candidates they need, and the system will find potential patient matches. Doctors can be sure that they’re getting the right candidates as blockchain cannot be manipulated.
80% of clinical trials currently fail to meet enrollment timelines and 20% of clinical cancer trials fail due to an inefficient way of searching for candidates.
As well as removing third-party payment services, the blockchain ledger allows both payers and providers to identify false payments. As health insurance errors cost the healthcare industry up to $17 billion annually, this is a fantastic step up to provide better quality saved through money that is no longer wasted. Blockchain will also be able to enroll patients onto suitable health rewards programs without asking for a claimant form, making healthcare services much more accessible and convenient for all.
By 2020, 1 in every 5 medical organizations are set to have adopted blockchain. We really are looking to have a bright, organized and efficient healthcare industry in the future that will be able to focus on the needs of patients, and less on budgeting.
This article was written by Julian Gnatenco @ JGBilling