Unlocking The Potential of Blockchain in Healthcare: 6 Key Use Cases
From ancient ages, doctors and physicians have been consistently evolving their practices to support patients as well as to run the administration in an effective way. Fortunately, in this decade - the healthcare application development industry is experiencing various innovations & tech operations. Currently, healthcare is evolving through Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, IoTs and many more. For example: next-generational technologies can be used to detect diseases, provide personalized treatment and empower overall healthcare deliveries. According to the report published by PS Market Research, the blockchain healthcare market will grow at a CAGR of 51% from 2021 to 2030. In the year 2021, the market value of blockchain in the healthcare market was $304.04 Million. If this market will grow at this CAGR rate (51%) then it will attain a market value of $10,939 Million by the year 2030. In this article, there will be a discussion about the 6 specific use cases of Blockchain technology in the healthcare domain. Read More: 8 Healthcare Software To Boost Your Medical Business Blockchain will Empower the Healthcare Industry - 6 Specific Use Cases In 2023, global healthcare organizations (such as: Red Cross, USAID, Global Funds, etc) are still working towards profound ways to trace the distribution of medicines across different countries. Thus, we are presenting 6 specific use cases for the healthcare industry to streamline operations in an effective manner. 1. Blockchain-based Electronic Health Records (EHR) Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are digital records of a patient's medical history, treatments, test results, etc. These records are kept by healthcare providers to improve patient care, reduce medical errors, and increase efficiency. At the time of clinical trial efficiency - it can even commence faster and more secure sharing of patient data. For example: “MedRec” is a system developed by researchers at MIT. In reality, it is a fact that the adoption of blockchain-based EHRs is still in its early stages. Currently, people are concerned about data privacy and the need for regulatory frameworks for the use of blockchain in healthcare. A blockchain-based EHR system enable helps in securing the data by preventing unnecessary alternation, removing or tampering with a high level of security. Overall, blockchain-based EHRs have the potential to revolutionize the way health data is stored and shared. It leads to improved patient outcomes and healthcare delivery. A blockchain-based EHR system has the potential to improve the privacy, security, and efficiency of healthcare data management while giving patients greater control over their health data. 2. Use of Blockchain Functionalities in Medical Supply Chain Management It improves transparency, blockchain technology can also improve efficiency in medical supply chain management. Blockchain-based systems can automate many of the manual processes involved in supply chain management - such as: tracking inventory levels and managing orders. It can help to reduce costs and increase efficiency by allowing stakeholders to focus on more value-added activities. It allows the stakeholders to focus on product development and customer service. For giving you a better understanding, we are mentioning two examples below: Example 1: A blockchain-enabled system was developed by “Mediledger” with the help of renowned companies such as: Pfizer and Genentech. Mediledger. Example 2: The European union-funded “Pharma Ledger” aimed at developing a blockchain-based system for pharmaceutical supply chain management. While there are many potential benefits to using blockchain technology in medical supply chain management, challenges also need to be addressed. One of the key challenges is interoperability. The issue of interoperability arises when different stakeholders in the supply chain use different blockchain platforms. Another challenge is the need for regulatory frameworks to govern the use of blockchain technology in healthcare. As with any new technology, there are concerns about data privacy and security. It is important to ensure that appropriate safeguards need to be adopted for protecting patients’ data. Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of using blockchain technology in medical supply chain management are significant. By improving transparency, efficiency, and security, blockchain-based systems can help to ensure that patients receive safe and effective medications. 3. Decentralized Storage of Medical Records Currently, records or data are maintained in the traditional database but it incorporates certain concerns such as: security concerns, potential data breaches, and lack of interoperability. So, in order to overcome this issue the decentralization of records will be going to be a game changer. It is a relatively new concept that seeks to revolutionize how patient data is stored and accessed. In 2023, the CEO of Leeway Hertz. Akash Takyar & IOVIA Institute Study report indicated that pharmaceutical companies will gain a valuation of $1.5 trillion. In this astonishing valuation, decentralized storage of medical records will play a crucial role. As decentralized storage of medical records aims to address these issues by storing patient data in a distributed network of computers, rather than a single central database. This network, also known as a blockchain, allows for secure and transparent storage of patient data that is accessible to authorized parties, while protecting the privacy of patients. Although, there are endless benefits of decentralized records but we are specifically mentioning about few foremost benefits: 1. One of the main benefits of the decentralized storage of medical records is that it allows patients to take control of their health data. 2. Patients can choose to share their data with healthcare providers or researchers as they see fit, without worrying about their data being accessed without their consent. 3. This empowers patients to be more involved in their own healthcare decisions and enables more personalized care. 4. Another benefit of decentralized storage is increased security. 5. Decentralized networks are highly resistant to cyberattacks and data breaches, as each block in the chain is secured using cryptographic techniques. This means that patient data is highly protected against unauthorized access or tampering. 4. Acceptance of Cryptocurrency Payments into Hospitals Hospitals are increasingly considering accepting cryptocurrency payments as a way to provide patients with more payment options. By accepting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, hospitals can provide a new medium to transactions. One advantage of accepting cryptocurrency payments is the potential for faster transactions and lower transaction fees. Cryptocurrencies can be transferred quickly and securely between parties, without the need for intermediaries or traditional banking systems. Transactions stay anonymous and encrypted which makes it more difficult for fraudsters to steal patient data or make unauthorized transactions. This is especially important in healthcare, where patient data privacy is a top priority. Apart from this, healthcare mobile app developers can work towards implementing the option for accepting or making payments through cryptocurrencies. 5. Faster Claim Adjustment It incorporates the potential to streamline and speed up the process of claim adjustment in the insurance industry. Blockchain enables real-time, secure and transparent communication between an insurance company and the policyholder. Traditionally, the process of claim adjustment in the insurance industry is often manual, paper-based, and time-consuming. It can take days, or even weeks, to process and settle a claim. This inefficiency can lead to frustrated customers, increased costs for insurers and missed business opportunities. For example: smart contracts could be used to automate the claims process so that when certain predefined conditions are met, the claims are processed automatically. So, it will reduce the time and cost of claim processing. Moreover, the use of blockchain technology could also increase transparency and security in the claims process. The decentralized nature of blockchain allows the parties to view the progress of the claim in real-time. 6. Utilization of IoT in Healthcare Operations The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of interconnected devices that are capable of collecting and exchanging data. In healthcare, IoT devices can be used to improve patient outcomes, remote monitoring, and better data management. IoT devices can also be used to remind patients to take medication and track their activity levels. This is especially useful for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, who require ongoing monitoring and support. In addition, IoT sensors can be placed on medical equipment to track usage, improve maintenance, and reduce downtime. This can help healthcare providers to better manage their resources and ensure that equipment is functioning properly at all times. The Final Words It can be analyzed that blockchain technology will present a plethora of opportunities in the healthcare industry. Currently, the government should also promote the intervention of technologies in the healthcare domain. Although, the “decentralized nature of the technology” allows the hospitals to create an ecosystem by incorporating all the patient data to streamline the hospital management process. The implementation of blockchain in the healthcare domain is used to maintain health-record, clinical trials, patient monitoring, etc. So, it is worth implementing the use of blockchain technology to secure operations.