How can the implementation of blockchain technology update the healthcare industry
“Now is probably the right time in our history to take a fresh approach to data sharing in healthcare,” – This is what John Halamka, chief information officer at the Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said to Wired about using the blockchain in medical data management. Can blockchain technology bring about the change that the medical field needs?
The Benefits Of Blockchain Technology For The Medical Field
As a patient, you don’t really think about everything that goes on behind the scenes of your treatments. We just go in, do what the doctors and nurses tell us to and trust that they know how to help us. On the other side, doctors, nurses, administrators, chemists and other healthcare professionals work with enormous amounts of data. They need to know your medical history, your family medical history, your financial records and medical aid information. I remember walking into a hospital with a broken arm and being made to fill in forms before I could be admitted as I had never been to that hospital before.
Making Things Easier
Imagine if you could just walk in, give them your name and identification documents, opening up access to everything about you. This is why a decentralized ledger would be the perfect way for hospitals to store data about patients. When data is added to the blockchain it is distributed to all the devices connected to it, instantly. This was initially to make sure that no one could cheat the Bitcoin payment system but it is also perfect for sharing information. If every medical provider in a city, country or the world used blockchain technology, they would have instant access to patients records as soon as they come in.
Another way the blockchain could be implemented is to prevent drug seekers and fraudsters from getting access to restricted medication, and then using them recreationally or reselling them at a high price. This has a become a huge problem worldwide and the blockchain may be the way to change it. Using the blockchain, a prescription can be tracked from the factory to the dispensary and then to the patient, this is almost completely impossible to tamper with. There would be a full, recorded chain of accountability from start to finish.
The technology could also monitor drugs that are not on the market yet. Clinical trials are incredibly important as they make sure that any medication being distributed to the public is safe and fit for human use. However, firstly these trials don’t always produce correct results and secondly, it can be difficult to get participants and funding. With the blockchain, not only will all the records be securely stored and accessible to other researchers for review, patients can also agree to make their records anonymously accessible to researchers who could use them to create much needed medical breakthroughs.
The Blockchain is set to change the world in a million different ways. Advances in healthcare benefit the entire planet, whether it means less time sitting in the waiting room or breakthroughs in medical science, blockchain technology can revolutionize the field of healthcare forever.
For more information about how blockchain technology can change the world visit Crypto101