The healthcare industry is vibrant to say the least. Whether it’s privatised or public, healthcare providers need to adapt with technology in order to satisfy their customers, or patients.
It does give me some discomfort that in many instances patients are referred to as customers, but that’s a debate for another day.
The blockchain revolution is a revolution that will impact all wakes of our lives, we know that, it’s the new internet. But, how can the health sector benefit?
The use of smart contracts and an open ledger could be very beneficial for both healthcare professionals and their patients, moreover, the blockchain industry could help streamline healthcare payments and even stretch as far as providing insurance services and secure data transmission.
A very important implication for healthcare is the ability to track and locate medicines and supplies through the blockchain. Not only could the blockchain help to verify that the patient is receiving the correct medicine, it can be used to trace medicines from their creation, right through to the point they are dispensed at a pharmacy. This can ensure that medicines are real and that no counterfeit products are able to enter the market.
The blockchain industry carries implications for medical records too. At the moment, medical records are kept online, as part of networks, yet these networks as we know are vulnerable to attacks, look at the recent NHS Wannacry attack for example. Within the blockchain, the health industry could retain medical data to be accessed by any health professional, in any surgery or facility, in any part of the world. Not only does this allow health records to be more easily accessible (no more hanging round for a doctor’s note for example) the blockchain can also ensure this data is totally secure, 100% of the time. Even if data is hacked, high tier encryption can ensure nobody is really at risk of having their sensitive medical records exposed.
We could talk about this all day, let’s face it. I imagine this is something a lot of our readers could get behind too. Although, that’s exactly what we need, we need people to be talking about this technology and we need people to become aware of its true potential. Healthcare is but one example of an industry that could benefit greatly from blockchain technology.
Soon enough, we are sure to see some elements of blockchain technology seep into our healthcare routines, be that simply the storage of our appointment dates or be that verification that the pain killers be buy are legitimate and have come from a legitimate supplier.
Either way, with blockchain on board, the implications for the healthcare sector could be endless.