Blockchain technology is an essential digital trend in the healthcare industry for 2019. But what exactly is it? And what does this critical advance mean to healthcare professionals?
We all know that technological change is coming to healthcare. And while it may seem daunting to some, according to Goldman Sachs, today’s digital revolution can save the healthcare sector $300 billion – which is nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended.)
So why is blockchain technology considered one of this year’s healthcare trends?
Simply stated, a blockchain is a shared record of transactions. It enables participants in a group to securely share data with each other and keep track of what was exchanged and when. Instead of a record being located on a single, hackable computer, it’s maintained across multiple machines. For the healthcare industry, this makes information extremely difficult to tamper with or delete and enables virtually any data transaction to be safe and secure.
Here are five examples of how a blockchain can create positive change for patient and provider:
Safe Storage for Patient Information
Healthcare providers can securely store their patients’ medical records, accessible only by specified individuals. When a medical file is generated and signed, it can be written into the blockchain, ensuring privacy and providing patients with the confidence that the information cannot be changed.
Better Interactions Between Healthcare Providers and Patients
Blockchain streamlines the sharing of critical information between patients and healthcare providers in real-time. This means the patient can securely receive essential health information without waiting.
More Targeted Diagnoses
Because a variety of specialists and stakeholders can have access to a network, data sharing between healthcare providers offer a higher probability of accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, and an increased ability to deliver cost-effective care.
Secure Data Platform for Wearables
The blockchain enables the seamless integration of data from wearables such as fitness trackers and devices using mobile apps. By monitoring and accessing a patient’s daily health data, the provider can create and tailor health and exercise plans which can be continually adjusted as results are interpreted.
Enhanced Counterfeit Drug Prevention and Detection
The intrinsic properties of blockchain technology can be used to introduce anti-tampering capabilities in the pharmaceutical manufacturing phase – ensuring products are genuine and addressing one of today’s major problems in healthcare.
A Summary of Benefits
Blockchain technology has the potential to propel innovation in preventative care and community-based healthcare models.
Better data sharing between healthcare providers means a higher probability of accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, better provider/patient communication, and the increased ability of healthcare organizations to deliver cost-effective care.
Lastly, technology offers healthcare stakeholders the ability to share access to their networks without compromising data security and integrity.
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