When people hear about blockchain technology, most will associate it with financial transactions. But did you know that the same technology can apply to many other sectors, including security, healthcare, and more? This makes blockchain technology highly appealing due to its versatility and promise.
Therefore, a big portion of the value of crypto tokens comes from the great future potential they offer. Consider healthcare blockchain projects, for example. Today, we are going to discuss whether there is a place for blockchain in healthcare and how people can benefit from it. You’ll also learn:
- How blockchain helps secure medical records.
- The many perks of using this technology.
- The challenges blockchain faces and why it’s not yet a global concept.
- How you can support healthcare projects that use blockchain.
How Blockchain Can Help the Healthcare Industry
For many, blockchain has already started to make a big change in the healthcare industry. In fact, the estimates by the tech giant McKinsey predict a massive growth in profits to $790 billion in 2026. Research and real-life examples already prove how beneficial blockchain in healthcare can be. This digital technology can lower healthcare costs, streamline business and appointment systems, and improve patient data access. Sensitive patient data can be safely protected from possible hacks and unsolicited access.
Let’s take a look at these perks in some more detail so you can better grasp how blockchain can help both individuals and healthcare companies.
Improved Data Control For Patients
Let’s explore the following scenario: instead of storing patient data on some computer chip, online cloud, or another software system, medical data can be kept in personalised patient records. That means that anyone – doctors, healthcare providers, and more, will be able to view patient information from anywhere. As long as they have the right password or biometric key and, therefore, permission from the patient.
Already, you can see how helpful this is for the entire health sector. It takes less time for patients to collect and send their data to and from hospitals. It’s all stored in the same place. It is also easily accessible. Moreover, having all this information can help doctors look at the big picture and offer well-informed advice and diagnosis for patients. All this can improve health outcomes for many patients.
Reduced Healthcare Costs
Blockchain can also reduce costs. For instance, if healthcare providers start utilising smart contracts, they won’t need additional firms to help them with data collection or contracts. Furthermore, using digital contracts removes the need for paper documents, providing a more eco-friendly solution to data handling.
And that’s not all. Many backers of blockchain in healthcare believe that this tech can also aid clinical trials. As you likely already know, staff are necessary to collect medical data. Hiring them is expensive and doesn’t guarantee an error-free recording process. Just a few mistakes in the system can cost thousands of dollars for healthcare companies. And with this technology, you wouldn’t need to hire all these workers. You’ll also be able to ensure an error-free process.
Another big issue for the healthcare system is counterfeit medications. They often include harmful chemicals that aren’t listed on the label, or in some cases, they can be completely fake, with no legitimate ingredients.
To help resolve this problem, the healthcare sector can use blockchain-based tracking systems. A blockchain system can record data from the moment of production of a drug to its delivery in a pharmacy.
Just like we can create electronic health records for patients, we can make records of the ingredients and their production process. Tracked medicine and drugs aren’t a new concept. Already, several companies have been putting it to the test, such as Bayer and Pfizer.
Secure Data Sharing
Blockchain uses cryptography, which makes it one of the safest technologies out there. It is extremely well-protected and hard to breach. Patient medical records would be securely encrypted, unlike now, when most websites fail to secure patient data. There are tons of sensitive data leaks every year. In the first two quarters of 2023, there were 295 registered breaches, which affected over 39 million individuals in the US alone.
Privacy leaks are one of the most serious threats to the healthcare industry. And it doesn’t just stop at website breaches – cyberattackers also target plenty of wearable medical devices. If healthcare systems adopt blockchain, they will not only prevent these attacks but also savour plenty of other benefits. For example, blockchain can track important data, like problematic devices and errors, and even tell users when their device has to be replaced.
While there are plenty of positive effects of utilising blockchain networks in healthcare services, there is a reason we’re not seeing widespread adoption yet. To help explain why, we have listed the biggest challenges that blockchain in healthcare is facing:
In its nature, blockchain technology isn’t private. In fact, a blockchain network has many public records. Essentially, if people were to adopt this blockchain-based technology, all their data would be available for anyone to see. This, of course, can’t happen, as it goes against people’s privacy. Developers will have to come up with solutions to keep everyone’s data obscured.
Hard to Adopt
Unfortunately, blockchain-based tech isn’t as fluid as people hope. Medical institutions would have to make space for this technology and adapt to it. Many companies expect they can just modify blockchain to their liking when, in reality, it’s the companies that need to create new processes from scratch. Obviously, this is a time-consuming activity, and not every company will be up for the task.
Lack of Government Support
So far, governments and the healthcare industry are quiet when it comes to blockchain adoption. New policies would have to be made, with unified laws to safeguard patients and their healthcare data.
Moreover, blockchain in healthcare might not fit with some pre-existing laws, for example, those related to privacy. Many blockchain healthcare companies also want to implement new payment options using crypto. This creates room for debate, as these currencies are not yet globally regulated.
Enormous Data Files
Blockchain networks aren’t infinite. They can store a limited amount of data. As you can imagine, when millions of patients join with their extensive medical data history, this would over-encumber the network. Some healthcare data, like MRI scans and microscopic files, can be too much for the system. As a result, this will slow its performance. Developers might have to create a file limit.
In order to access their own medical records, patients need to input a private key. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a private key, they are unique passwords generated to unlock files. However, the way blockchain functions splits how private keys can be used.
In blockchains, a single private key will unlock one block of data. Alternatively, the same private key may unlock all blocks. Of course, no one wants to open all data to everyone. On the other hand, each time a patient creates a new block (by visiting their GP, for example), they will need a separate password to unlock the information inside.
Developers will need to create more customisable personal blockchains, which is a very costly activity. Which brings us to the next challenge.
While blockchain technology in healthcare can reduce costs in the long term, it’s still an expensive shift for most companies. Using smart contracts and creating electronic medical records isn’t cheap. While some companies, like MediLedger and Medicalchain, are trying to offer this service to patients, for blockchain to become part of healthcare permanently, it will need significant backing.
How You Can Support Blockchain in Healthcare
Are you impressed by the potential of a smart healthcare system? If you believe that distributed ledger technology can help patients worldwide, then consider supporting some blockchain projects. You can do so easily by investing in a healthcare token. If this is your first time investing in crypto, we recommend https://immediate-connect.app/, where you can receive private advice and support from a trained broker. They can help you build your portfolio and discover the best coins for your individual goals.
Here are some of the most valuable coins you can consider:
- Innovative Bioresearch Coin
We recommend that you ask your broker for additional information on each coin and its use cases to better understand the projects you are investing in.
Is There a Place for Blockchain in Healthcare in the Future?
As you can see, there is plenty of potential for blockchain-based technology to improve healthcare. In fact, it’s more than just potential. For some startup companies and apps, this is already the future.
It feels like we are almost at a technological turning point. However, at the moment, it’s hard to see how or when these changes can become global. It might take 30, or it might take 60 years. But as more people begin to see the benefits of blockchain technology, society can speed up the adaptation process. For now, if you are looking to support this cause, you can:
- Invest in a healthcare coin.
- Begin using existing blockchain healthcare projects.
- Spread the rod and discuss the advantages with friends and relatives.
- Volunteer with healthcare researchers on the topic.
- Help companies test out different technologies and find their weak spots.
Every contribution counts! The more healthcare organisations continue to innovate in their sectors through the use of blockchain technology, the closer we can get to reap all its benefits.