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Sunday 20 August 2017
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What is Blockchain for Healthcare?

What is Blockchain for Healthcare?

There has been much to do about Blockchain.  So how will Blockchain help in healthcare?

First we must understand what blockchain is.  According to Reenita Das in Forbes magazine ” So what is blockchain? If we filter out all the hype and technological jargon, blockchain technology is, at its simplest, a distributed and immutable (write once and read only) record of digital events that is shared peer to peer between different parties (networked database systems). In essence, the fundamental strengths of a blockchain system lie in its data integrity and networked immutability. Having said this, there is always scope to build application layers on top of a blockchain system and enable additional functionalities such as public or private keys, or self-executing mechanics (e.g. smart contracts), but this isn’t the core functionality of blockchain technology.”

Will it really be useful in Healthcare?  I thought blockchain was only for financial sector?

Blockchain has potential to enable value-based care, and we’re committed to championing innovation that helps our customers and partners realize that potential.   We’ll see solutions that offer compatible APIs for blockchain services including distributed file systems, distributed communities and distributed business processes.  All of this holds great promise in terms of advancing the mitigation of wasteful and onerous healthcare costs.

Blockchain technology has the potential to address the interoperability challenges currently present in health IT systems and to be the technical standard that enables individuals, health care providers, health care entities and medical researchers to securely share electronic health data.

The security benefits are so clear with blockchain technology.  Data sharing is more secure and with a blockchain driven EHR every health care interaction goes into the datafile like blocks that every provider can access and see, even though all the information may come from different places, the basic data is standardized.

Drug Supply chain source and integrity can be dramatically improved and solved with the use of blockchain technology.  With the use of private keys and smart contracts can help to build proof of ownership of drug source at any point in the supply chain.

Open-source makes it ideal for Healthcare

There are many benefits to blockchain technology; Blockchain is based on open-source software, commodity hardware, and open API.  Widely used and accepted in many industry standards, the Blockchain architecture has in-built fault tolerance, data encryption, and cryptography technologies that will benefit the healthcare industry in many ways. With these capabilities, the health IT systems could become easy to work with and eliminate the need developing complex point-to-point data integration systems.

With the challenges that healthcare faces with interoperabilty  Blockchain technology definitely has a place in health IT systems, there are many benefits for the use of Blockchain technology in healthcare applications.  Integrating  Blockchain strategies in many areas of healthcare will benefit patient and provider

More resources about the benefits of blockchain in healthcare:

Blockchain For Health Data and Its Potential Use in Health IT and Health Care Related Research

Does Blockchain Have A Place In Healthcare?

How Blockchain Can Benefit Healthcare

Moving Patient Data Is Messy, But Blockchain Is Here To Help

 

 

 




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