Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Blockchain is now a mature technology, that has quietened the skeptics by creating layers of trust because it represents a shared record of the truth.
Blockchain technology is a structure that stores transactional records which are known as the block, in several databases that are known as the “chain,” in a network connected through peer-to-peer nodes. Typically this storage is referred to as a ‘digital ledger’.
Blockchain technology enables distributed public ledgers that hold immutable data in a secure and encrypted way and ensures that transactions can never be altered.
Healthcare keen to embrace blockchain
Healthcare has been keen to embrace blockchain, given the challenge of ensuring the confidentiality of patient records has been an ongoing pain. Plagued by insufficient security and hacking of medical records, health professionals have been exposed to litigation for breach of patient confidentiality.
Therapies conducted leveraging digital technologies and connected care are transforming the sector completely. The adoption of blockchain technology in healthcare will ensure patient confidentiality. The patient is in control of who accesses their records and the point of breach of patient health information can be easily traced. Further, unauthorized third-party access to sensitive information can be eliminated.
Annually, there are a large number of patients globally that die due to medical errors. Again, blockchain technology can play an important role in reducing these meaningless deaths, as in a blockchain, data can only be added, not erased. Thereby ensuring that patient’s health information over the years ends up being very comprehensive, and if stored appropriately enables patients to manage their health care needs independently. Healthcare professionals also get access to comprehensive historical data, minimizing the chances of error.
Blockchain and Covid-19
Blockchain technology has an important part in the fight against Covid-19. Using this technology it has been easy to track, store, and disburse sensitive information in real-time to health centers for effective and uniform management of pandemics.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the healthcare industry and expedited it into a new era of digitalization. Technological advancements have created the ability to track almost every aspect of an individual’s personal health in real-time, creating a continuous and increasingly detailed picture of the body’s functions. This is just the start of the era where personal data becomes the basis of treatment and preventive care.
Since blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger, it tackles the problem of protection of patient’s data. The purpose of the chain is to store a series of transactions in a way that cannot be altered or changed.
The health-tech sector is certainly very vibrant at the moment.