Since the beginning of the year, the term “blockchain” has made headlines in the technology sector more than any other terminology. But what made it so popular? The technology ensures that all the transactions that are carried out are properly conducted and recorded. This is true mostly to cryptocurrencies such as Monero and Bitcoin. But it is not digital currencies only that can be transacted on the blockchain.
Despite the fact that it is mostly used in the financial industry, its application is not limited to the finance sector alone. Besides banks and startups, other industries can use blockchain technology as well. The following are the top applications of blockchain in healthcare.
1. Patient Records
Health records or history of a patient is very crucial. Most patients do not have their health records, but blockchain can help solve this problem. A patient’s health history from different health systems, plans and pharmacies can be stored on the blockchain. The health history of a patient can be processed on the blockchain as a readable data for a patient’s personal use or be changed into records that are usable on different electronic medical record systems. Some of the health records that can be stored include diagnosis, prescriptions, procedures among others.
2. Clinical Trials
Data that is generated through clinical trials can be securely shared through blockchain between different companies. Information such as adverse reactions and patient demographics can be shared. Also, interim results can be shared between regulators and sponsors.
With the help of blockchain, a patient’s data profile can be shared across multiple clinical trial sites. This can give the patient the ability to control his data and only share with individuals or organisations of choice such as research centres.
3. Medical Research
One of the biggest challenges in medical research is snooping. This can be successfully controlled with the help of blockchain technology. This technology can be used to introduce proof of date in the medical research field. All the information shared on the blockchain is transparent. The technology also allows for the traceability and all the history of the data and it is time stamped. This will ensure the reduction of errors and fraud in all clinical trial records. With blockchain, all the experiments, trials, protocols and results are time stamped thus making them immutable.
4. Billing and Claims Management
This is a process whereby the processing and filing of medical claims that pertains to a patient’s treatment, medication and diagnosis are done. Many healthcare providers have become victims of data breaching whereby patient records are compromised which in turn leads to larceny, theft and fraud.
With the help of blockchain technology, most of these problems can be solved once and for all. This is because the technology has a complex data transfer process which cannot easily be compromised. All the transaction on the blockchain is traceable and secure. This will lead to increased revenue management that the institution can follow.
As a decentralised ledger, blockchain will help the healthcare sector greatly to manage the patient information and sharing of crucial data without the risk of privacy or security breach. The technology allows for transparency of all transactions hence saving time and money.