USE OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE
Blockchain is found by a person called Satoshi Nakamoto (it may be a group of people, identity is unknown for the name) in the year 2008. Blockchain is an open distributed ledger that record transaction between two parties efficiently and effectively. Blockchain is managed by a peer to peer network in which the data is stored in like “first time write and then read only” manner. The data stored in the blockchain cannot be modified or deleted unless validated by all the users in the network. Also the data in the blockchain is added in a chronological order and is cryptographic. Blockchain invention was made in Bitcoin and it was the first digital currency without the need of any trusted authority or the central currency. Blockchain was considered as a payment rail.
Working of Blockchain
Blockchain is a peer to peer network technology and has three components:
- Distributed Ledger:
The blockchain consists of blocks and it consists of network participants/members/users. Each member in the network stores an identical copy of the blockchain and they are authorized to validate and certify the digital transactions in the network.
- Shared Ledger:
The users in the network record the digital transactions that took place in to the shared ledger and they verify those transactions. Once the majority of the users validate the transaction, it is added to the shared ledger.
- Digital Transaction:
Each data that are stored in a blockchain are taken as a digital transaction and each transaction is arranged into a block that contains a cryptographic hash to add transactions in a chronological or linear order.
Listing out the five ways to benefit the healthcare industry with the blockchain technology:
- Patient Records:
The patient records including the disease registries, treatments, lab results etc. are added in a longitudinal way in the blockchain. Thus helps the health care sector to deliver better care for the patients.
- Patient Database:
In the healthcare industry, there is often a chance to get the records to be duplicated or mismatched. Here, blockchain helps the entire database of the patients to be entered in a ledger. Thus when the user look for the address in the database, even though there are multiple addresses, it will all yield to a single patient identification.
- Supply Chain Management:
The blockchain network in the healthcare industry helps the organization to monitor the supply demand cycles through its entire life cycle. That is, it monitors how the transaction takes place, whether the contract is successful or not, is there is any delay etc.
Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system whose interfaces are completely understood to work with other products in the present or future in either implantation or access without any restrictions. In the blockchain network, being the information shared with the authorized providers in a secure way, it would eliminate the cost and burden of the related data reconciliation. Blockchain can transform revenue supply management, drug supply management, clinical trials and prevent frauds.
- Claims Adjudication:
It relates to the insurance and claims that are related to the patients. As the blockchain is based on the validation, the claims are automatically verified where the network agrees upon the way a contract is executed. Also, since blockchain does not have any trusted authority or central server, there may be fewer errors or frauds.