Before 2009, cryptocurrency and blockchain were not popular terms. However, since their release as open-source software that year, the underlying technology has become a crucial driver for various industries, including finance, gaming, health care, engineering and agriculture. The size of the blockchain industry is expected to reach a stunning $23.3 billion in 2023.
Blockchain technology is a decentralized, digitized ledger or database for storing “blocks” of information. It allows for the transfer of ownership of units using an encryption system without requiring control by the government or a central bank. In this article, we will discuss how blockchain will revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Blockchain eliminates breaches in doctor-patient confidentiality
Although the healthcare industry has, since inception, insisted on its quality of patient confidentiality, it has been plagued by insufficient security and hacking of patients’ medical records for many years. Many healthcare professionals have even been exposed to litigation on account of a breach in health records.
With the adaptation of blockchain tech into the sector, not only can health records be stored on the blockchain, but patients also get to decide who can access their information. This way, responsibility is maintained by the health professional, any breach of patient health information can be easily traced, and unauthorized third-party access to sensitive information can be eliminated.
Blockchain prevents medical errors
A study published by Johns Hopkins patient safety experts suggests that in the United States, over 250,000 people die every year due to medical errors. This is particularly alarming when considering the leading cause of death in the U.S.—heart disease—which is responsible for about 647,000 deaths annually.
Blockchain data can only be added, not erased. This is precisely how health information should be stored. Physicians can access the historical medical records of their patients from their very first hospital visit. Dr. David Classen, a chief medical information officer at Pascal metrics, admitted in an interview that the system of care is fragmented. He continued, “Any tools that enable patients to manage their health-care needs will be a game-changer.” Blockchain has come to effectively dissolve the dilemma of errors and digitize patient health records.