A monumental shift in the healthcare industry has been experienced in the form of digital decentralization of the care delivery model. With the digitization of the healthcare services, drugs/therapies, devices and business models, current healthcare systems are being democratized. This leads to the displacement of expensive barriers, unlocking previously inaccessible segments. Citing this, digital transformation has become a core strategic priority for all healthcare entities. And after all of this digitization, Blockchain technology is another jackpot in healthcare industry.
Most of the countries have put into place policies or strategies outlining their digital health objectives. It has promoted the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and other health IT infrastructure. Albeit, visible security limitations create critical bottleneck for care delivery systems, creating an inefficient digital workflow. Data silos between different providers also impede care coordination.
In the pursuit of a trade-off between risk and reward of digitization, potential benefits of Blockchain Technology can help mitigate some of these challenges. Blockchain implementation in the healthcare sector’s digital transformation journey can bring revolution in the healthcare industry.
Discovering the opportunities with Blockchain Technology:
Combats cyber threats
Although healthcare industry is acknowledged for strict policies and compliance to ensure data security, cyber threats still hamper the emerging digital workflow. Healthcare systems, drug and device manufacturers anticipate a secure, connected health IT (HIT) ecosystem for better management of healthcare data and cease security breaches.
Featuring built-in cryptography techniques, Blockchain applications are based on distributed network consensus to keep records of digital events immutable. Medical device OEMs, health systems, and healthcare technology companies can append blockchain technology to promote Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) with a secure strategy in place.
Health data flow and interoperability
With digitization of the healthcare sector comes the need for good health data interoperability to stimulate care coordination. Interoperability here is more than just information exchange; it demands trust among systems or entities and then use the information with equal accountability. However, the lack of trusted digital workflow has brought in place contrasting HIT systems and centralized health data management models.
New solutions like Blockchain promises to transform the current scenario by providing a trusted and immutable data flow, ensuring integrity around health data exchange and minimizing cyber threats.
Consumerism in healthcare
Digitization of healthcare also leads to accumulation of abundant personalized health data. The trend manifests a sense of consumerism. Patients or consumers are taking more interest in their healthcare information and they want to track their healthcare records. If they are not given access to the information, they tend to change their healthcare provider. However, doing this in real-time is still an issues outside physician office in real-time. This raises issues surrounding patient data ownership and privacy.
As an open-source tool, Blockchain Technology offers identity management features through its peer-to-peer data-sharing network models. With pre-defined user access rules, it provides consumers with better control over their health data. Moreover, permanent storage of encrypted data on immutable Blockchain systems provides simplified view of data.
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