Blockchain enables healthcare industries to exchange information in standard form, to automate multiple methods and to use Artificial Intelligence over huge medical data storages. Also, it consents any patient to trade their data in change for reward.
Services for shipment and finance have already applied blockchain technology for years. It increases their safety and effectiveness, reduces expenses and enlarges the scopes of services. With the good results, the industry of medical and healthcare will soon adopt the same technology as well.
Essentially, this technology of distributed ledger serves as the future generation to redesign the interoperability. Experts believe that by year 2020, the twenty percent of healthcare orgs will move further than preliminary projects and will apply blockchain on areas including patient identities and operational managements. Its interoperability may reinforce the transmitting of information while acting as a substitute on current health data exchange. Fundamentally, it serves as the network that transmits an actual and safe patient info to health care provider, pharmacy, insurance payer and medical researcher.
Though other industries have moved already from trials to real production system, the healthcare adaptation has been decelerated by nascence, regulation and safety issues of it. Other influential matters are harmonization of data and the availability of blockchain resources.
The Dep’t of the Veteran Affairs in United States is known for early technology deployment and for quick EHR-Electronic Health Record adaptation. Like others, it has been also late and slow in getting connected on blockchain technology. The Information Technology Department of the agency published last year a research paper about blockchain’s qualities and susceptibilities. It emphasized more on the used cryptographies in protecting and in securing communication in between different parties.
It makes sure that all members will see the significant portions of the ledger. Moreover, it ensures that every transaction is always verifiable, authenticated and secured. The research study noted that on permissioned blockchain, participants must enroll first before they will become allowed in adding and reviewing any records. Up to now, VA still needs to test blockchain on substantial healthcare systems. However, only a little number of healthcare providers begins considering the application of this technology.
Harmonization and Management of Data
Insurance company, pharmacy and healthcare provider have some interoperability on their network yet, they also have high possibilities of penetration and success. It enumerated natural inadequacies like standard interoperability limits, data blockings, work flow and rule or strategy variances of entities and technology necessities.
Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance are the 2 top performing HIE of the world. The first one is a collaboration of private-public to form a mutual interoperability framework while the latter is an association for trade that works on interoperability of healthcare record. Both have successfully established a strong industry foundation primarily for exchanging data with EHR v’ndors’ support.
According to IDC research director Mutaz Shegewi, it will facilitate a limited query-based form of data exchange. Mutaz was talking about the capability of searching information online about any secured patients. Of course, there are still limitations on the counts of who can do healthcare data exchange.
Shortcomings are complicated however; it usually started from lack of frameworks, protocols and standards on integrated data which could expand healthcare industry. The major challenge is on the diversity of EHR system and interface, data resource and consistency in workflow.
The Blockchain as a Good Source of Truth and Accuracy
It is a digital yet transparent ledger. It can be shared on all permitted group of different users. In addition, it allows anyone to view the in-time data. With the help of all these features, blockchain can enhance the patient info search around an extensive spectrum. Also, it can influence the API compatible and open FHIR- set of standards available in all EHR to unite permanent medical records from many EHR providers. The FHIR edge is positioned also at the core of Apple’s latest health records- a mobile app that permits any patient to put their data in from different EHR systems.
Blockchain can hasten the distribution of clinical info. On the same time, it may use FHIR to regulate patient profile, data format while securing indexes at code level. It does not actually leverage the process data is being taken to the upper level. It is the framework and the skeleton itself.
Blockchain technology can also act as a supporting role in different areas. It enables a shared stat on clinical trial, population health, professional credential, remote audit and claim settlement. It does not just save events like patient diagnosis, treatment or medical prescriptions, but records them permanently and unalterable. With this, further info points are encrypted but the prior entries are still unchangeable. Truly, it gives way on achieving interoperability of any fields. As a better record of data, it is expected to be a more distribute accessible and permanent system.
Everyone must know that success and development don’t happen in just a snap. It takes time most especially in a very sensitive and crucial industry of healthcare. Information of any patient should always be handled carefully and protectively. The healthcare completely embracing blockchain as its central technology could mean a long term process. It will take more years before it can fully adopt.
As we can observe today, everyone is passionate and interested on blockchain. Adapting to it is actually a problem no more technically.
The blockchain has the ability to make a not broken data entry chain and to get data securely by means of cryptography. It has a big advantage in terms of privacy and efficiency. Another reason why blockchain is important and a must apply technology is that, it can build more kind of systems based on clouding.
Some of the huge technological players including Microsoft, IBM, Google, Apple and Amazon are aggressively betting on healthcare and blockchain technology application.
Smart contract Automating Manual Process
Other than addressing interoperability problem, blockchain can release value from the current unmoving, stored healthcare data sources by acting as smart contract. It will automatically transfer the data of a patient from one doctor to another in case the patients see different physician.
Aside from data transferring, contracts will automate treatment payments after healthcare insurer, patient and provider agreed that a certain treatments have been completed. To have an open platform that uses standard model data is a good thing. It can solve the blocking of patient data normally present in EHR system.
Rewards for Every Shared Health Data
Moreover, blockchain can give the controlling of health data on patients themselves. One more benefit is the use of cryptocurrency. Patient can receive crypto tokens as a reward for sharing data.
Medicalchain produced an EHR ledger based on blockchain which can be used by anyone concerning it. Ever since the HITECH Act of 2009 (industry is required to adopt EHR), the data exchange between distinct vendor platform, physically distributed facility and unrelated medical institution have upgraded a lot. However, transparency of data has not.
According to Mayo spokesperson, the company will discover and search more possible advantages of blockchain in the field of health caring. They will focus on bringing effectiveness and strengthening protection every transaction. The contract with Medicalchain has been approved. How blockchain technology works should be in consideration as well.