As technology advances, businesses also see the need to up their knowledge and skills on technology and apply them suitably to grow their business. The healthcare industry, in particular, relies on cutting-edge technologies to help escalate its growth. One of the technological advancements that help a lot of industries today is blockchain technology.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is a really powerful tool that has revolutionized many businesses since its inception. People had always associated blockchain technology with bitcoins. Some even think they are the same.
In 2014, nonetheless, a lot of businesses and technology experts realized that there is more to blockchain technology than cryptocurrency and it is not all about bitcoins. In point of fact, they discovered that blockchain technology can transform many different kinds of operations. It can help in many transactions such as recording online cash advance to fund minor costs of a new business.
Without a third-party authentication, two parties can record their transactions in a permanent way. This makes various processes faster and more efficient and it will also help reduce the costs of transactions. Once entrepreneurs understand the power of blockchain technology and apply it to their businesses, they will see how blockchain can have a positive impact on insurance, transportation, healthcare, contract management, voting, and many other industries and processes.
How Can Blockchain Technology Transform Healthcare?
In 2018, the healthcare industry has spent approximately $177 million on blockchain technology and this amount is expected to rise up to $5.6 billion and above by 2025. This is because of the many benefits of blockchain technology that the healthcare industry wants to take advantage of. It helps cut down a lot of costs across the industry and allows old systems evolve. Apart from these, there are more things that the blockchain technology can do for the growth and success of healthcare not only in the United States but in other parts of the world.
Patient Data Decentralization:
One of the many amazing things blockchain technology can do for healthcare is patient data decentralization. The sharing of data between doctors and patients can be complicated but with the help of the blockchain, they can now have a decentralized system which is focused on the patient instead of the person who holds the data. For example, Boston has 4.5 million residents with different languages and they use different systems to share data. If they will use blockchain technology, they will use only one system, with one language, that they can share quickly and easily across doctors and patients.
Enhanced Patient Safety:
The safety of patients and their data had never been this safe before the emergence of blockchain technology. Because patient data is very confidential, it needs to be secured to protect the patient as well. Luckily, blockchains use safe clinical research, public health reporting, and adversarial event identification. If there’s a need to adjust a block, 51% of the blockchain’s participants will need to approve the change and every copy needs to be updated for the change to reflect. This will increase security and help prevent malicious activities.
One of the many ways blockchain technology can help businesses is by reducing costs. What if healthcare providers do not need insurance middlemen to process contracts? What if they don’t need to see their patients in person at all to check their health status? These are all possible through blockchain technology which gave birth to telemedicine. Basically, this approach allows patients and healthcare providers to have real-time communication through telecommunications technologies. The doctors can diagnose, evaluate and treat patients despite their distance, helping reduce healthcare costs. There are a lot of smart devices and applications today that can make basic health care procedures possible and this can be really helpful to patients in remote locations.
The proliferation of fake drugs all over the world cost the US healthcare industry billions of dollars every year. However, with the help of blockchain technology, it is now easier to trace the manufacturers of counterfeit drugs and hold them accountable for their wrongdoings. This is done by timestamping every new transaction that is added to a block. In some drug blockchains, wholesalers are allowed to verify transactions and because every block has the information on the drugs which can be linked to other blocks, it will be easy to track where the drugs came from.
Payments through Cryptocurrencies:
Another benefit that appeals to most patients is the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. Instead of cash, patients can now pay their medical bills using bitcoins. Fraud is a common problem in the healthcare industry and this can be prevented through blockchain systems and applications. When a patient pays through cryptocurrencies, the payment can be tracked to make sure there is no fraud involved during the process.
With the power of blockchain technology, the future of healthcare and other industries is sure to be better and brighter.