One of the most exciting technological advances of the last decade is blockchain, which offers a more secure platform for transferring data. Blockchain is essentially a decentralized peer-to-peer platform that effectively reduces the chances of a server being hacked.
Blockchain is effective because it eliminates the need for a middleman when distributing data. Instead, it uses multiple ledgers all around the world to store data. The technology helps reduce fraud and cyberattacks in a secure and transparent manner while simplifying the process of transferring data.
The healthcare industry has been adopting blockchain at a furious rate because it can maintain the integrity of patient’s records. There are many uses for blockchain in the medical field that, when combined, can create efficient care strategies for patients while improving the safety of sensitive data.
Generate Insights From Medical Data
California-based startup Doc.AI is using blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing and computer vision to identify the value of patients’ medical records with the same accuracy as doctors but in a shorter period of time. The platform allows consumers to start a data trial. During this trial, that patient’s health information will be collected, allowing data scientists to come up with predictions regarding that patient’s outlook based on past and current conditions. This app then lets patients bring this data to doctors for additional assistance.
In this scenario, blockchain ensures that all the imported data is anonymized for privacy and security purposes. This is one way that blockchain can be integrated with other technologies to create an app that helps patients better understand their condition without compromising security. Apps like Doc.AI are changing the game and streamlining solutions in healthcare, offering easier access to medical data for patients in an anonymous manner.
Store Patient Records Across Various Databases
One of the biggest hassles of navigating through the healthcare system is the fact that a patient’s medical history is stored throughout various hospitals, clinics and providers. But Slovenia-based Iryo.io has developed a solution to this problem with an open-source platform called OpenEHR that combines patients’ health records for easy access.
The startup’s development allows patients to share their medical history anywhere in the world, as they can access all their medical history in a repository of servers. This increased access could expose the data to vulnerabilities, though, so Iryo uses blockchain to keep patients’ medical data secure and free of cybersecurity breaches. Thanks to the decentralized nature of the technology, blockchain is capable of ensuring security for databases all across the world.
The project is being tested in Slovenia at the moment, but if things go well, Iry.o could pave the way for unifying medical records worldwide without compromising patients’ privacy. After all, most healthcare organizations still have distance between one another in terms of sharing patient data. Implementing blockchain in healthcare apps can bridge this gap by unifying various medical records in an effective and efficient manner.
Improve Drug Supply Chain Integrity
Pharmaceutical companies around the globe are plagued with counterfeit drugs on a consistent basis from fraudulent businesses looking to make a buck. In the U.S., these companies incur losses of $200 million a year from counterfeit drugs alone, making the business a risky one that results in workers getting laid off and patients receiving ineffective medications.
Some companies are creating solutions for these concerns, including iSolve LLC, which is working with pharmaceutical companies to reduce their chances of buying counterfeit drugs. The company is using blockchain to create a chain-of-custody log to examine every step of the supply chain for each product.
iSolve LLC is requesting that these companies leverage Advanced Digital Ledger Technology (ADLT), which uses blockchain to manage the integrity of the drug supply chain. Plus, blockchain leverages private keys and smart contracts that aid in verifying proof of ownership from a drug’s source throughout every step of the supply chain.
Blockchain can ensure that pharmaceutical companies can acquire authentic drugs and avoid buying counterfeit ones that lower the patient’s care quality. The technology has advanced authentication methods and the ability to ensure that proof of ownership remains intact during these sales.
Reduce the Cost of Healthcare
Not every country has universal healthcare across the board, which means a hospital visit can set you back thousands of dollars. SimplyVital Health is seeking to reduce the inefficiencies surrounding value-based care, helping patients pay as little as possible for their care.
To this end, they created an app called ConnectingCare that combines providers from various medical organizations onto the same platform, allowing them all to examine the same data for shared patients. The platform uses AI-powered financial and clinical algorithms to create high-quality, low-cost care strategies for patients. It also relies on blockchain to allow healthcare professionals to follow-up on patients while reducing the cost and duration of care. It pushes healthcare providers to work in unison in order to reduce the number of professionals a patient sees and increase the patient’s reimbursements.
Blockchain is useful for maintaining the sanctity of this data while encouraging professionals to work together to provide better care at the lowest possible cost. A healthcare app that utilizes blockchain can improve a patient’s care regiment, reduce their medical costs and bolster the quality and speed of their care.
The Future of Blockchain in Healthcare
There’s no limit to how far blockchain can go in the healthcare industry. After all, the technology is already making waves in securing medical records, verifying the authenticity of prescription drugs and reducing costs. Ultimately, the many uses for this technology mean that blockchain is capable of creating a more connected, secure and efficient healthcare system across the board.
If you’re hoping to implement blockchain technology into your healthcare app, you will need to work with an experienced development team. Here at SevenTablets, we are well-versed in custom app development, blockchain and the healthcare industry. In addition, we provide services related to a host of other emerging technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Shane earned a B.S. at Texas A&M (whoop!) and studied mathematics as a graduate student at Southern Methodist University.