Blockchain in Healthcare: The Next Big Thing?

The global blockchain healthcare market is projected to reach USD 829.0 million by 2023 from USD 53.9 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 72.8%. This leaves no question why blockchain technology is a next-big-thing in healthcare.

Blockchain in healthcare

Blockchain technology has risen as a new sensation in the tech world. It has become one of the most successful inventions of this planet in the last few years. The emergence of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has certainly helped blockchain to get into the spotlight. 

Being one of the most powerful and secure technologies of the 21st century, Blockchain brings trust, transparency, speed, and clarity to digital transactions. Due to its growth potential, blockchain has disrupted almost all the industries such as finance, health, security, supply chain, banking, etc. And, the latest comes the healthcare domain. 

Using Blockchain in healthcare sector is empowering innovative trends from validating medicines and protecting patient’s records and of course taking care of inconsistency, differences in data standards, and the demand to create health data interchanges. 

The US. spends around 20 percent of its GDP on healthcare.

We have come up with an article to understand what is Blockchain in healthcare and how can it be utilized to create a stronger Healthcare system? Explore Healthcare opportunities in Blockchain with some popular real-world use-cases under one umbrella.

Let’s get started.

What is Blockchain in Healthcare?

The Healthcare industry is transforming towards a patient-centric approach with a major focus on simplifying the healthcare system by developing a safe and secure environment. And, Blockchain in Healthcare today is not only tackling the booming demand of technology but also bringing immutability to the health records. 

56 percent out of 200 healthcare executives will have blockchains in production and at scale between 2018 and 2020

According to an IBM Institute for Business Value’s report, 56 percent out of 200 healthcare executives will have blockchains in production and at scale between 2018 and 2020. 

By 2025, 55 percent of all healthcare apps will have deployed blockchain for commercial purposes. And by the same year, the valuation of blockchain in healthcare will jump to $5.61 billion from the present $170 million, BIS Research suggests.

If you still wonder, Can Blockchain be used in healthcare? Above figure shows the importance of Blockchain technology in the digitalization of the entire healthcare system. 

But, before actually jumping on how blockchain is transforming the healthcare sector, let’s quickly get into what is the need for blockchain in the healthcare industry. 

Is it really worth it?

4 Major Challenges of the Healthcare industry today!

With thousands of trending Blockchain app ideas in healthcare, there comes challenges. We have summed up some of the major concerns that the healthcare system is facing without blockchain technology in 2020.  

To mitigate the healthcare challenges, the top Healthcare App Development Companies are working in this direction by addressing the privacy and security concerns. 

Challenges of Healthcare industry

1. Harnessing Advanced Health Technology 

Even if you see the last years, people rely more on keeping records on paper. And, they find it a lot easier to access but with digitalization a lot has been changed. To shift the workforce who is still dependent on pen and paper is not only tedious but also a time-taking process. 

With everything going digital, blockchain has introduced Electronic Health Records (EHR) which is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart, that isn’t only making information available to everyone instantly, but also, an attractive way to deliver secure records to authorized users.

To encourage employees to shift to something that is bringing change in the working pattern and consumer behavior is emerging as a challenge of the healthcare sector.

2. Health Data Accuracy

The other two challenges of healthcare today are data accuracy and data security. Currently, sensitive data lacks a secure data structure. As a result, the healthcare industry faces data breaching and data entropy. 

Till now, medical records vary from region to region, and hence accuracy can not be maintained. And hence, patients don’t receive the right treatment they need. In order to make records universally available to everyone, blockchain is revolutionizing the data accuracy challenge in healthcare with a distributed digital ledger that records transactions in a growing chain of immutable blocks. This is how Blockchain helps healthcare.

3. Health Data Interoperability

Often, medical agencies hide the exact costing with the insurance companies. As these companies charge differently for different patients. Hence, there is a greater chance of middle-money-making, excess funds, and dis-organized hospital records databases. 

Whereas data in the blockchain is secure and immutable (un-changed). Blockchain architecture is well-structured and organized so that authorized users can easily access the data anytime.

4. Drug Traceability

Drug fraud is one of the major challenges of the pharmaceutical industry. The wrong set of ingredients are not only affecting people economically but also putting patients’ lives in danger. 

According to recent figures released by the Health Research Funding Organization, around 10% to 30% of drugs sold in the developing world are fake and the underground economy is valued at around $200 billion annually. 

Blockchain makes data immutable so that no one can actually make changes to the dataset at any point of time. Also, it keeps track of the complete drug manufacturing trail, so that it reduces the chances of data leakage and fraudulence. Every time a drug moves to the next step, the blockchain blocks any counterfeits and serves as a solution to this healthcare challenge. 

Blockchain Applications in Healthcare

Blockchain is a pool of opportunities, it maximizes safety and convenience, the technology is highly useful in different areas of the healthcare system, such as for storing and sharing sensitive medical records and remote monitoring systems, insurance information both in healthcare venues and in the mobile apps, and for clinical trials. Here are some popular  Blockchain healthcare use cases you can refer.

Blockchain Opportunities in Healthcare

1. Electronic Health Records

EHR is the digital transformation of paper records.  There are tremendous blockchain opportunities to create decentralized models for EHR (Electronic Health Records). This EHR contains general information about the medical history of the patients in real-time.

Well, the most significant role of blockchain in EHR is that it creates one universal electronic pool(data silos) for the patient. One of the most important challenges met by the healthcare industry today is in the distribution of key medical data with stakeholders while preserving guarding patient privacy and data integrity.

Moreover, the Blockchain application in healthcare for Electronic Health Records helps in reducing costs – especially when it comes to maintenance of health record systems in real-time. 

2. Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote Patient Monitoring

Blockchain plays a significant role in collecting, sharing, and reclaiming remotely collected biomedical data. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) serves several benefits to both clinicians as well as to the patients in the healthcare sector, viz. better access to healthcare, deliver high-quality care to the patients, improved support, and more.

3. Drug Supply Chain Tracking

This is one of the most popular Blockchain healthcare use cases in the pharmaceutical industry. A blockchain is a software that gives a digital ledger system to log and record transactions by arranging them into chronologically-ordered blocks. 

One of the most prominent benefits of Blockchain technology in healthcare is the ability to create a traceable trail across the entire supply chain.

Given the understanding of blockchain technology in healthcare to enable protected and speedy transactions around the world, much of the efforts in the pharmaceutical industry to leverage its capabilities are centered on improving the supply chain.

4. Direct Service Payment

Blockchain technologies work on “smart contracts”, small, auto-run programs stored on the distributed ledger that automatically do payments when particular requirements are met.

Blockchain technology ensures a fast, secure, and fair payment framework by using encrypted distributed ledgers that provide trusted real-time verification of transactions without any third-party houses. Blockchain technology in healthcare service payments speeds up international payment processing services. 

5. Patient Data Management

Patient Data Management

HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability, and Accountability Act have rigid laws to protect patient’s data. This rule safeguards patient’s health information by setting limits and conditions on its usage and disclosure. Blockchain helps in segmenting and encrypting confidential data by saving high-level demographic information, Pll, and PHI. It is one of the most successful Blockchain use cases in healthcare.

Top Benefits of using Blockchain in current Healthcare

Blockchain can aggregate clinical data across the multiple care organizations that a patient has visited over their lifetime, as well as data from wearables, such as fitness trackers or heart monitors.

Top Benefits of using Blockchain in current Healthcare

1. Strengthen information security

Is a Blockchain app safe? Yes, totally. Blockchain technology improves the privacy and confidentiality of patient medical records from data breaching and hacking by limiting access. 

To maintain data integrity, health organizations are implementing blockchain through public-key encryption methods and decentralization. 

2. Automate processes and reduce costs

Blockchain eliminates the overheads in cross-border payment processing by ensuring money moving from account balances the actual money spent (aka reconciliations). Blockchain also automates the transactions by using smart contracts (small programs stored in a distributed ledger that auto-runs the transactions. 

3. Centralized administration

One of the major concerns of the current healthcare industry is decentralization. Being non-tangible, it is more prone to be hacked and corrupted. Blockchain eliminates the dependency and bridges the gap between payers and providers. It keeps the data centrally administered and available for the authorized person to access. 

4. Improve data quality and reduce errors

To prevent medical fraud and duplicacy, Blockchain provides an easy interface to automatically recognize duplicate medical prescriptions by giving a clear picture of transactions across stakeholders. To achieve this, one can hire a blockchain development company that will help implement blockchain technology and help use it to achieve maximum efficiency.

Blockchain in healthcare: Innovations that empower patients, connect professionals and improve care

With this, we hope you left with no doubt about how blockchain can be used in healthcare? Blockchain is supposed to be the next internet and has become one of the hottest trends in the technology sector right now. 

Amazingly, the worldwide Blockchain technology market is projected to build up 20 billion dollars in overall revenue by the year 2024.

Blockchain opportunities in solving real-world situations in healthcare and biomedical sciences is vast. Despite having so many concerns still, the success of blockchain for healthcare highly depends on its selection to transform current technology infrastructure. 

With booming blockchain future scope, it won’t be wrong to mark the blockchain as the next Paypal of the healthcare industry.  Is it the right time to implement blockchain for a business? Are you looking to create a blockchain mobile app for your business? Here is the latest report on the top Blockchain app development companies to get inspired from.

Vikram <span>Content Manager</span>
Written By
Vikram Content Manager

Vikram is an experienced wunderkind, who embraced technology at a very early age, and today he is at the helm of it. Mobile apps are something that excites him the most, and now he is up to give this vertical the best shot. He routinely catches up with the new apps and comes up with the top apps that can excite you to the core.

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