The healthcare market is a very big one. In 2018, the total cost of healthcare in the US is expected to be $3.8 trillion. It’s also thought that by the year 2027, it will reach $6 trillion. But the sad truth is that this important part of our lives is not very good at what it does. In reality, poor management and security cause more than 30% of the money spent on health care to be wasted.
Blockchain development services can really make a difference, and it’s about time that our healthcare system took advantage of this technology. So, in this guide, I’ll explain what blockchain is and how it is slowly changing the healthcare industry. Let’s start!
Let’s define: The Blockchain
Blockchain is a cutting-edge technology that is used in healthcare. It offers high security, keeps track of medicines, and gives ownership back to people who have the right to give permission for its use. People can also move from one set of data to another based on who owns the data across organizational boundaries.
Key Potential Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare Industry
Now that you know what the biggest problems are in this area. Let’s look at the good things that blockchain has to offer.
When it comes to health care, using blockchain can help you get accurate data at every step. Blockchain, which can’t be changed, can help make sure that all medical records in the healthcare system are correct. In reality, there is no way to change any information that is stored on the blockchain. So, if you set up a proper auditing process, every document will stay in good shape.
So, there won’t be any room for mistakes or different information. There are already a lot of healthcare projects in the works to solve this problem.
Interoperability is another way that blockchain can help in healthcare. In reality, you can connect to different people in this industry by using blockchain technology. For example, you can use a blockchain platform to connect to health insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacies, distributors, or even health inspectors.
This way, the patient can automatically ask for insurance when he or she is in the hospital, giving you a better overall experience. This also makes it possible to check a lot of legal documents in a lot less time.
A lot of Security
Blockchain tries to offer the best security protocols on the market. Using blockchain, healthcare systems can improve their security and get rid of the risk of cyberattacks.
So, a criminal can’t just hack into the system, get the information, and sell it to someone else. This is one of the most important things that blockchain can do for healthcare. Also, because the technology doesn’t have a single point of failure, people in the healthcare field can access the documents no matter where they are during a natural disaster.
Compared to traditional legacy systems, the cost of using blockchain technology is quite low. Even with little upkeep, the system works well enough to handle a lot of traffic in a short amount of time. On top of that, some platforms can handle between 3,000 and 10,000 transactions per second. Just think about how much faster that is than the old ways of doing things.
This is something that is missing from the health care sector, which spends millions of dollars every year just to keep things running. In reality, blockchain can change healthcare for the better by providing this easy way to cut costs. But there are some other costs to think about. I’ll tell you in a minute.
Traceability in Real Time
The ability to track things is another benefit of using blockchain in this area. In fact, blockchain makes it possible to track drugs and other actions in the ecosystem in real time. For example, manufacturers can keep track of all the drugs from the point where they are made to the point where they are sold. Even better, they can keep track of their supplies to make sure they are always of the best quality.
Medical test reports can be kept track of, which is another great feature. With this, a patient will know exactly when different medical tests will be sent to him or her. So, this is one way that blockchain and healthcare can start to work together to make a better and more efficient ecosystem.
What are the Real Use-Cases of Blockchain In the Health Industry?
Keeping Health Records Safe
Imagine a world where you only had to fill out your medical forms once and never had to deal with them again. When it comes to health care, blockchain can give you a single portal where all of your digital information is stored. Most healthcare industries still use manual systems based on paper, which are prone to mistakes.
But when blockchain is added to the mix, it won’t be long before every document has a digital version. Also, there are many uses of blockchain in healthcare that create a hub for the patient where he or she can upload general information and other doctors can see it if they are allowed to.
So, it’s a great example of how blockchain can be used.
Better Audits and Claims for Insurance
Blockchain and health care can work together to make a great ecosystem where insurance claims can be handled faster. In reality, we all need health insurance to pay for our medical bills. But the process takes a lot of time and is a bit boring.
In fact, all Americans are required to have health insurance or they will have to pay a fine. Even though the system is different in each country, insurance is still a big part of it. So, the process needs to go as smoothly as possible, or someone will always get in trouble.
Using blockchain, companies can simplify their health insurance policies, keep track of any suspicious behavior, and get rid of all paperwork. Also, by connecting directly to the hospital, they can find out more about the patient’s condition and needs.
Preventing Fraudulent Billing
Every year, billions and billions of dollars are collected as a settlement for fraudulent billings and fake prescriptions. There is no way to see what is going on with these medical bills, so the patients are the ones who are hurt every day. To stop this from happening, blockchain can make all of the transactions that happen for each patient clear.
Since the patient can keep track of their bills through the blockchain platform, there is no way to overcharge a patient or trick them into paying more than they should. So, blockchain and the healthcare industry can work together to give people a safe place to go that builds trust and security.
Lessening the number of Fake Drugs
One of the biggest problems in the healthcare industry is fake drugs. You already know that this causes billions of dollars in losses each year. The World Health Organization says that more than 10% of the pharmaceuticals in the world are fake. Even though it seems like a small amount, it gives $75 billion to the people who make drugs illegally.
Even worse, 100,000 people die every year because of this many fake goods. In this situation, blockchain would change healthcare by making it easier to keep track of things. In reality, blockchain can be used to keep track of all drugs and make sure that people only get the real ones. This will also help find fake drugs and the companies that make them.
Keeping track of Clinical Trials
This is another way that blockchain technology can be used in health care. In reality, medical testing or clinical trials depend a lot on the process of verifying data because it affects the lives of important people. In many cases, though, the data is not checked 100%, which leaves room for fraud.
But when money is tight, it can be very expensive to check all the data. Even worse, this kind of investment almost never pays off. About $150,000 is spent to check the data, but only $500 is made back.
But blockchain can help solve this problem by using a hashing system to check and time stamp all the data to make sure there are no mistakes. So, it can also make it cheaper to store or check all of this information. There are already a lot of healthcare applications of blockchain that have this feature.
Keeping Patient Data Safe
One of the most important parts of the healthcare industry is information about patients. As you already know, patients don’t have much control over their data right now. So, it’s easy for criminals or shady companies to use all this information in the wrong way.
Also, these data breaches usually cost a lot. In the United States alone, it costs about $6.2 billion every year. Even worse, this cost is passed on to the patients, which makes their overall costs go up. This is not fair at all.
Using its privacy rules, blockchain can shake up the healthcare industry. There are a lot of private or federated blockchain platforms. So, the healthcare sector can give patients privacy and safety by using these platforms as a base. In this way, it will also stop data breaches.
Some Companies that are using Blockchain for Healthcare:
Change Healthcare is one of the companies in the healthcare field that is using blockchain. In any case, they have an Intelligent Healthcare NetworkTM for managing patient claims and keeping track of their status in real time. Even more, Hyperledger Fabric is being used as the project’s main technology.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
The FDA’s idea is another creative way that blockchain could change healthcare. Also, this platform will protect healthcare data like electronic medical records (EMR), genomic data, clinical trial results, and so on. In any case, this technology’s solution is also powered by Hyperledger.
DHL is a good example of how blockchain is doing well in the healthcare industry. In reality, they are working with Accenture on a proof-of-concept (POC) that will track pharmaceutical drugs from the point where they are made to where they are sold. This makes it easy for them to handle problems with fakes.
It is one of the biggest companies in the world that makes medicines. In reality, Pfizer and Biogen are using blockchain to shake up the healthcare industry by creating the Clinical Supply Blockchain Working Group. Also, this group is making a proof of concept (POC) for keeping track of and managing records of the digital inventory of medicines.
One of the best blockchain healthcare projects is using it to share information about coronavirus in a safe way. Also, Hyperledger Fabric will be used as the platform’s underlying technology. COVID-19 can also be found early and in hotspots with the help of the platform.
MetLife’s innovation center, LumenLab, is working on automating some of the processes for health insurance. In reality, they are giving women who are pregnant and have gestational diabetes insurance that is taken care of automatically. The best part is that they don’t even have to ask for the insurance; once they show proof of the problems, it will go to them automatically.
Blockchain is slowly taking over industries like health care. But it may be one of the technologies that, so far, is changing the way the healthcare industry works by giving patients more power.
The end result of this transfer of power is better care for the patient. But so far, blockchain’s effects on health care are only on the surface level. It still needs a lot of work.