Introducing Blockchain for Enhanced Healthcare
By MedTech Outlook | Thursday, March 21, 2019
Blockchain has had an immense impact on a lot of industries, and it is too early to determine whether it has a good effect or not. Experts say that blockchain will revolutionize the healthcare sector. Although the impact is significant, experts don't expect the replacement of traditional medical care with blockchain. On the contrary to popular opinion, there are those who believe that cryptocurrencies could crash to zero. Blockchain is a distributed, multi-computer ledger system which creates an indelible, tamper-proof recording system. In industries such as finance and shipping, it is gaining traction, partly because it can be an efficient way to access sensitive data. Two of the major technologies that could adversely affect the healthcare industry are artificial intelligence and blockchain, both of which can transform the face of any industry.
Digital Asset and IBM contributed initially to Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework, a result of the first hackathon. IBM’s announcement of Hyperledger was to try and decrease the administrative errors and streamline the record keeping. Although doctors are against adding an extra layer of technology on to their system as they fear it may cause further disruptions and frustrations—more screen time, which has reduced the amount of time a physician could spend on their patient—but as a matter of fact, introducing blockchain in revenue cycle management and payment solutions which are bundled, could increase outcomes. If properly leveraged, blockchain can help record, store, and sort pharmaceutical data in a way that provides insights that are always relevant and unambiguous. More importantly, any solution that can help pharmaceutical manage data accurately will eventually save a lot of money, spruce the bottom line, and improve health outcomes for all. Blockchain in healthcare helps pharma to create auditable, unchangeable and distributed databases to store and access data from drug trials. Boehringer Ingelheim's Canadian based unit recently reached out to IBM to design, develop and deploy a blockchain powered bookkeeping system for the clinical trial pilot project.
An executive with IBM’s health division noticed how healthcare has been loafing about in technology due to the popularity of legacy systems and huge volumes of data dispersed among different sources. IBM is not the sole company in the health sector which promotes blockchain. A number of companies and patent papers are flying around to apply blockchain for research purposes and medical records. Researchers around the world are scrutinizing with information from PHI to diagnostics today.