Blockchain technology is making the headlines, almost everywhere. It is likely to have a mention about it, irrespective of the industry. However, setting aside the massive scope of opportunities that Blockchain brings in, its prominent use cases are still concealed under Bitcoin.
Undoubtedly, Bitcoin is one of the most prominent implementation of Blockchain. But, certainly, it’s not just the only use case of this disruptive technology that we have today. To make the most of Blockchain, it is imperative to understand what exactly it is. Before we move on to its use cases in the healthcare industry, let’s understand what is Blockchain and how it works.
Blockchain is a record of digital events, which is distributed and immutable, shared peer-to-peer between different parties (of a networked database). Ideally, the essence of Blockchain is in its ability to maintain data integrity and retain networked immutability.
Where does Blockchain Fits into the Healthcare Industry
Blockchain has made a blissful contribution to the fintech industry and it has just started to inspire the health IT with some achievable and speculative applications. The healthcare stakeholders are equally excited about the set of possibilities that Blockchain has presented. However, to give more power to this new technology, developing new frameworks to implement use cases of Blackchain in larger scale is important. Putting the hype around Blockchain aside, here we discuss few of the amazing use cases of this technology in healthcare industry.
1. Interoperability and Exchange of Clinical Data
With health IT solutions that are backed by Blockchain, we can expect technological solution to various challenges in healthcare application development like managing big data, data interoperability, data security and integrity, and more. Blockchain enables a data exchange system that’s cryptographically secured and cannot be revoked. This will give access to the historic and real-time patient data, consequently reducing the data reconciliation cost.
2. Healthcare IoT and Cyber Security Handling
According to a report by Identity Threat Resource Center (ITRC), healthcare comprises 30% of all U.S. data breaches, second to the business sector. 41% of the health data breaches were a result of insiders, wherein, 73 out of 96 incidents are known to have affected 1,166,674 patient records. And 53% of breached patient records were the result of hacking.
In the current system of healthcare devices, it is quite challenging for the Health IT infrastructure to accommodate or support the emerging IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) ecosystem. Studies suggest that there would be 20-30 billion IoMT devices used globally by 2020. In such scenario, Blockchain powered solutions can ensure security, reliability, and privacy around the use cases of Internet of Medical Things.
3. Provenance and Integrity of Drug Supply Chain
A report by WHO states that 30% of drugs sold in developing countries are counterfeits. With a pharmaceutical system powered by Blockchain, a chain-of-custody log can be created that makes it possible to track the supply chain at individual product level. In addition to this, functionalities like private keys and smart contracts can act as a proof of ownership to justify the drug source.
Such an approach is adopted by iSolve that help organizations to manage drug development cycle. They collaborate with biopharma companies, render their ADLT Blockchain solutions to manage drug supply chain integrity.
4. Clinical Trials and Research Result Management
50% of the clinical trial go unreported. This, as a result creates safety issues for patients and also generates information gaps for the healthcare stakeholders and the policymakers. If the clinical trials are supported by a Blockchain solution, the results, protocols, and other related information would be time-stamped and immutable, resulting in less data snooping and errors.
Integrating Blockchain into Health IT Solutions
Blockchain offers some convincing opportunities for the healthcare industry. It can help in working around a number of challenges, from drug supply chain provenance to billing fraud issues to cybersecurity. Finding and implementing the best possible use case of blockchain in mobile and IoT applications can let the technology spread out its wings and offer the best inimitable advantages.