With the rise of digital transformation in the healthcare industry, every healthcare provider is looking to adopt technologies that can ease their procedures without compromising their patient data security. This is where blockchain technology steps in.
Although being a relatively new technology, blockchain has successfully reshaped the healthcare industry. According to a report by Global Market Insights, blockchain technology in the healthcare industry was valued at over USD 48.1 million in 2018 and is expected to witness a 65.0% CAGR from 2019 to 2025. At the same time, IDC suggests that 55% of all healthcare applications will have employed blockchain for commercial purposes by 2025.
What is blockchain in healthcare?
Blockchain refers to the system that maintains records of transactions across different computers linked in the P2P network. When we talk about its application in the healthcare industry, we focus on the solutions that blockchain provides for a majority of problems faced by the healthcare sector, such as data breaches and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
The application of blockchain allows healthcare providers to streamline their medical records and securely enable their sharing, thereby avoiding data breaches. Let’s go through some more benefits provided by blockchain in the healthcare industry.
Benefits of blockchain in healthcare
According to HEALTH CARE WEEKLY, The adoption of blockchain could potentially save the healthcare industry up to $100-$150 billion per year in costs related to data breaching, IT, operations, support functions, and personnel by 2025.
Here are the top four ways in which blockchain can benefit the healthcare industry:
- Time and cost-efficiency
Implementation of blockchain offers advantages like cost-effective treatments, accurate and to-the-point diagnosis, and eventually, a better cure for numerous diseases. It allows healthcare providers to operate simultaneously with the aid of networks with enabled shared access, thereby saving operational costs and time.
- Claim automation
The implementation of blockchain technology allows healthcare providers to automate the claim process. This automation leaves no space for errors or frauds and at the same time reduces time spent on paperwork.
- Powerful monitoring
Blockchain technology records all the transactions which are decentralized and people with access can only view them. This allows powerful monitoring over the records and at the same time provides transparency.
- Enhanced collaboration
Able to provide collaboration between parties is the best way to save time. Using its distributed ledger technology, blockchain helps several parties to collaborate on a single platform which also promotes innovation in the field of Healthcare.
Use cases of blockchain in healthcare
- Patient data management and security
Managing loads of data is amongst the most hectic tasks a healthcare company has to deal with every day. With the increasing number of data breaches every year, data security has become a massive concern for patients worldwide. According to HIPAA JOURNAL, between 2009 and 2020, 3,705 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records have been reported to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. These breaches have resulted in the loss, theft, exposure, or impermissible disclosure of 268,189,693 healthcare records.Luckily with the help of blockchain technology, these data breaches can be avoided. Being a decentralized, distributed, and immutable ledger of records, blockchain makes it impossible to hack into the stored data. At the same time, it provides high transparency as each change in the record is visible.Blockchain stores the patient data using smart contracts and generates a unique ID that is required to access that data. Without the unique ID, no blockchain healthcare solution can reveal the information saved on it.
- Improved provider-patient communication
Medical safety experts at CRICO Strategies investigated 23,000 medical malpractice lawsuits and found more than 7,000 of those lawsuits could be attributed to communication failures. Those communication failures resulted in $1.7 billion in malpractice costs and almost 2,000 preventable deaths.Blockchain has successfully transformed the communication system in the healthcare industry. Its decentralized solutions store information on multiple nodes in a network instead of storing it on a single database. If a change or update is made to the information in one node, it is updated in all network nodes which makes it very easy to share updated information with any doctor or healthcare provider in no time. This time to time update helps avoid any miscommunication between different parties in a healthcare organization.
- Improved drug supply chain
The Health Research Funding Organization has stated that 10 to 30% of the drugs sold in developing countries are counterfeit. But this situation can be improved using blockchain as all blockchain transactions are immutable and timestamped which makes it easier to identify and stop fraudulent drugs and illegal drug transactions.
What’s next for blockchain in healthcare?
With the continuous advancement in the technical world, it is safe to say that there is a great scope for blockchain to develop. With decentralized nature and capabilities to provide robust and secure solutions, the use of blockchain technology has already begun in the healthcare industry. As we move forward, the applications will only rise. We can also expect it to be used alongside other technologies like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to provide enhanced medical care.
If you are looking to adopt blockchain then with the help of leading blockchain development companies like Jellyfish Technologies, you too can take advantage of this advanced technology.
Jellyfish Technologies is one of the early adopters of blockchain and over the years has developed good competency in developing blockchain-based solutions. The JFT team is proficient in implementing private blockchains and smart contracts, integrating API to the blockchain, and other custom requirements.