What are the Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare?
The healthcare industry can greatly benefit from blockchain technology. Over the past 30 years, the healthcare industry has been affected by the advent of centralized data systems, health data regulation, and a mandate to focus on digitizing medical data in partnership with different electronic medical record (EMR) service providers. The bulk of repositories processing information owned by healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders in the health and medical ecosystem, do not interact with one another. The lack of interoperability among most systems containing longitudinal health data at both the individual (patient) and population (public health) levels explains systemic barriers often perceived in the following situations:
- When patients wish to consult or seek medical services from other healthcare providers
- When the administrators of a clinical trial want to validate the vast medical data of its participants
- When pharmaceutical companies seek to ensure the authenticity of drugs circulating global markets
Because of the inability to securely share data and the siloed management of medical records, patients spend precious time and resources seeking redundant medical care (e.g. executing duplicate blood tests or physicals). In emergencies, physicians and other health professionals providing care may not have full visibility over a patient’s medical history (e.g. explicit documentation highlighting patient allergies, prior or withstanding medical conditions, administration of controlled substances, etc.) in which case they risk improper treatment.
In drug traceability, secure supply chain tracking is necessary to prevent the distribution of counterfeit or illicit drugs. Counterfeit drugs pose risks when active ingredients are altered or in unauthorized proportions. Such risks may compromise the safety and success of treatment or lend to addiction and drug dependence. They also carry the risks of unknown side-effects, some of which may be fatal.
In order to address illegal transport or unauthorized production of controlled substances, blockchain technology presents the opportunity to securely track, indicate chronology, and highlight identifying data (makeup and composition) of substances in an immutable record. Enterprise Ethereum provides smart contracts and systems interoperability that will revolutionize the industry.
Enterprise Ethereum enables secure data management, consent management, medical device and drug tracking, and other blockchain use cases. ConsenSys Solutions is well-positioned to help your enterprise navigate the suite blockchain products and services that will significantly change the industry for the better.