Blockchain in the healthcare sector – To an extent, we can’t shy from the reality of how blockchain has changed the narrative in different sectors. This innovative technology has proved its worth, essence, and capacity across numerous sectors. Without a doubt, the finance sector, education, entertainment, art, and other notable sectors can attest to its imposing nature.
However, there are doubts about how blockchain can venture into a rigid system like the healthcare sector. Many will wonder how blockchain can effectively help advance the sector. From a technical perspective, blockchain has what it takes to help enhance the delivery of healthcare services. Nevertheless, the question remains how? In what way can blockchain be utilized to aid service delivery in the industry.
Before we divulge further, it’s worth noting that just like every other sectors, the healthcare industry is embracing an evolution. There is a high rate of demand by service users, employees, employers, investors, and institutional bodies. Consequently, the increasing demand has hastened the evolution.
Notably, the sector is moving in a direction that favors patients the most. Now, the center of attention is on how they can get inexpensive care and swift health facilities at the needed time. In that regard, there is a vast distance between service providers and their patients. Therefore, this article will focus on how blockchain can help close this gap.
Possible areas blockchain can help improve in the healthcare sector
Firstly, one of the healthcare areas blockchains can help improve is Population health data. Population Health Data pertains to the medical data of a given demographic. Major challenges battling this area are data safety, distribution, and cohesion.
Due to the absence of a unified system that stores demographic data of patients. It is difficult for healthcare service providers to have seamless access to the demographic data of their patients.
With the integration of blockchain into the healthcare system, they’ll be seamless access to demographic data of patients. If adopted, blockchain will deliver data security, accessibility, and cohesion. It will also help preserve the authenticity of the stored data against any alteration.
Also, it will encourage patients to partake in population health studies and make money from their data. Subsequently, effective data management and accessibility will help improve the delivery of health care services.
Secondly, blockchain technology birthed cryptocurrency, in fact it’s the bedrock of the innovation. Accordingly, the right adoption blockchain in the industry will see the introduction of payments in cryptocurrency.
As expected, allowing such innovation will aid patients to pay for services rendered without stress. Also, relieving them the extra charges that comes with bank transfers. Meanwhile, it will help service providers keeps a good record of their finances.
Other possible useful areas
With statistical backing, the healthcare sector is bleeding financially due to the distribution of fake drugs. According to a research paper on the health and economic effects of counterfeit drugs, there is an estimation that about 30% of the medicines sold in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are counterfeit. In 2011, 64% of antimalarial drugs in Nigeria were counterfeit. Worldwide, an estimated 10% of all medicines are counterfeit. A figure that is likely to have drastically increased lately.
Then, the research indicates how well fake drugs have eaten deeply into the industry. This puts the lives of patients at risk because fake drugs are capable of killing people. With this, the reputation of drug manufacturers is at risk.
However, one of the distinguishing characteristics of blockchain is that it can aid in checking drug authenticity. Using blockchain technology, it facilitates the storage of data to a block with a time label. Therefore, making it quite easy to monitor a product and assure that the details therein inside it remain intact.
To avoid the continual circulation of fake drugs, drug-producing firms must go through a screening process to ensure that their drugs are authentic. Then, having a body that monitors the blockchain will be needed to ensure accountability and transparency. So, these companies will be mandated to record every drug they produce on the blockchain. Leaving the central body to track and monitor each drug produced to confirm its authenticity. By then, any drug that’s not registered on the blockchain will be regarded as fake.
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