Blockchain Technology in Medical Industry: New Opportunities for Healthcare
DLT can improve the health industry in a number of ways by securing data and creating a new model for information exchange. How is DLT disrupting the healthcare sector, and what improvements can it introduce to the medical industry?
Advantages of using DLT in healthcare
There are several processes in healthcare industry which can be improved, and decentralization may be the option. Here are some benefits which DLT can offer to the medical sphere:
• Public Health
DLT will help to create a shared storage of the information which can be used by the government and authorities to detect the pandemics. This way, they will be able to take actions at the very beginning and prevent possible negative consequences.
DLT will keep the patient’s personal data safe as only authorized individuals will be able to access the information. The authorization process is done by the patient.
• Single Records
One of the main problems existing in the medical industry today is the absence of the single database which will keep all the records. DLT can solve this problem as all the patient’s information will be stored in one decentralized ledger.
This way, there will be no need to synchronize any data, as it will be done automatically. The data can be updated in real time and the processing will be faster. With the help of DLT, doctors will be able to access any diseases records, lab results, previous treatments, information about allergies and so on. It will be done in seconds, and there will be no need for making analyses every time. Therefore, the whole process of getting a medical treatment or any medical service will become cheaper and faster.
Blockchain integration in healthcare and possible risks
Although there are platforms developing DLT-based solutions for medical industry, the technology is not adopted globally. Let’s look at the challenges and possible risks of DLT use in healthcare.
DLT is a good solution for storing small amounts of data, however, the medical info is usually of a very large amount. It is important to keep in mind that for operation, DLT requires a lot of computational power, and with a huge amount of data, there may be a physical storage limit.
If integrated in healthcare industry, DLT will deal with protected health information (PHI) – it includes any data which identifies the patient, such as name or address. As the technology will give patients the opportunity to open access to their data to anyone, it will be against the policy of HIPAA rules. HIPAA regulations are very strict regarding the disclosure of PHI, therefore, DLT can meet the problems of compliance.
Real-life use cases:
• Medications tracking
One of the medical supply tracking platforms is The MediLedger Project. It is the DLT-based open network which provides access to service providers and regulatory bodies. DLT integration into the distribution process on the pharmacy market helps to raise the security level and reduce costs.
• Data storage and management
Healthchain is the DLT-based system for keeping health records. It is easy-to-use for patients, as it shows all the information about their current health state and medical recommendations. The access to the platform is given to medical service providers, pharmacological and insurance companies, as well as to research organizations.
One of the platforms offering telemedicine possibilities is Symptomatic. It is useful in storing and managing data, but it also enables telemedicine – getting online consultations – via video conferences.
• Making diagnoses
DLT can be used for making diagnoses as well, and SKYCHAIN is one of the platforms which works with it. The company is dealing with AI – it makes artificial intelligence systems more accessible to individuals. This way, patients can get diagnosed without mistakes.
Future of healthcare with blockchain
It is expected that healthcare industry will be changed in the future with the connection of DLT and IoT industry. IoT devices will gather the information about patients themselves and will put all the data into medical cards in real-life time. This way, doctors will get instant notifications about any changes in their patients’ health state – it will make the medical treatment more efficient.
Blockchain technology in different spheres will be discussed at the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Malta. Details of the event and registration – on the official website.