The blockchain is now out of the trial phase and is swiftly entering different industries, including healthcare. The healthcare ecosystem is set to see the next technological breakthrough with the advent of the blockchain. IBM mentions explicitly in a recent report that more than half of the healthcare managers intend to enforce blockchain technologies in their organizations by 2020. The distributed ledger technology pioneered has the ability to ensure data integrity while exchanging information between multiple parties—one of the prime reasons for its rising adoption in the healthcare community. Perhaps one of the areas in which the promising technology has a significant impact on quality of life care is to ensure faster and more accurate processing of claims. This technology helps healthcare professionals to reduce fraud while limiting administrative costs.
The supply chain tracking is one of the greatest advantages of blockchain technology. It has been efficiently used in different logistic companies. With blockchain technology, the source can be traced back to the intended destination path of any product or service that is transmitted from one location to another. This technology improves transparency by significantly increasing the confidence in the minds of the blockchain network members. This technology can be used by the healthcare industry to verify the authenticity of equipment and medicines.
Longitudinal patent records consisting of each inspection report, prescription, and disease registry can be kept using blockchain technology. This can be beneficial for the doctors during treatment. Therefore, there is mainly less fear that paper-based prescriptions and reports will be lost. In these main cases of use, patient data security is the biggest challenge point solved by blockchain. In 2017, there were 477 breaches in healthcare, affecting 5.6 million patient records. As electronic health records (EHR) become more common and extremely difficult to protect, blockchain technology will provide healthcare professionals with the best opportunity.
Since the healthcare industry will slowly adopt blockchain over the next few years, keeping this technology in mind can ensure that healthcare IT is prepared for the industry’s inevitable future. Though blockchain currently disrupts the health ecosystem, it must be remembered that the technology is still in its infancy. To date, healthcare organizations have vetted multiple blockchain products to determine their long-term legitimacy. Organizations that are keen to implement innovative technologies and align themselves with the change will emerge as winners.