What is Blockchain Technology and how it is Transforming the Healthcare Sector?

by Arthor Alberto
There is much demand for Blockchain development company as so many organizations are fast realizing about the benefits of Blockchain based solutions. Especially healthcare industry is going to get major benefits due to this trend. Before we go and discuss about how Blockchain technology can transform the healthcare sector, let’s first know some basics about Blockchain. 

What is a Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is a decentralized distributed digital archive maintained collectively by a network of computers called nodes. In blockchain network one person cannot modify the data as it needs permission from all of the people who maintain the particular record. Till now Blockchain technologies have been mostly associated with cryptocurrencies as the main method by which data integrity and security across networks have been maintained successfully. As per research reports, the global blockchain market is expected to be worth $ 20 billion by 2024. Financial companies like banks many times have to deal with vast amounts of complex data verification processes which cost them a lot. What Blockchain does is it fundamentally shifts the platform to a shared and distributed database which can be shared across multiple organizations without c Blockchain Solutions ompromising even a little bit on data privacy. In this, permissions can be restricted based on user type and transactions recorded, updated and validated on all of the nodes in a network simultaneously. This leads to the saving of $ 8-12 Billion yearly. Blockchain is also transforming the healthcare sector as increased use of Blockchain based digital systems to maintain health records, finances and insurance claims are giving phenomenal returns and benefits.

How Blockchain can Benefit the Healthcare Systems?

Any hospital you take, there are so many transactions happening all the time. From patient registration, payments and account tracking, treatment outcomes, health indices and costs are being monitored continuously. Each participant can be related with their own electronic ledger with properties which are different from other participants. This kind of simultaneous existence of multiple ledgers can give rise to cases of fraud, inefficiency and errors. But now with Blockchain technology, each computer system shares a copy of all ledgers hence information can be checked and verified against all other copies without any redundancy and vulnerabilities.
As we said unlike centralized databases, blockchain technology or Blockchain Solutions work on distributed systems. In this system, cryptographic codes are auto-generated for different levels of users and the role of an intermediary is not required thereby highly reducing the number of points of exposure and access to sensitive data. Also paper use is also tremendously reduced thereby eliminating the possibility of delays and potential losses for all of the stakeholders.

How Blockchain Maintains Data Integrity?

The main property of blockchain is that a block of code registers changes in the state of record and also works to restrict complexities of algorithms that manage the manner in which changes are done. Blockchains maintain records of each and every change which takes place in the data, track real-time records of every permanent transaction, maintain certificates of authenticity and track service details along with the value chain. Blockchains actually help in freeing up the capital for business organizations, lower transaction costs, speed up processes and provide security and trust across networked systems. Blockchain also allows for easy interoperability of health data between hospitals, clinics, doctors and related staffs.

Scope of Blockchain technology in healthcare

There is immense scope of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector. Reports say that blockchain technology development in healthcare sector which was valued at about $ 34.47 million in 2018 will see a vertical rise in 2024 with revenue close to $ 1415.59 million with the CAGR growth of around 70.45% between 2018-2024.

Let’s now discuss the main factors which make blockchain so much important for the healthcare sector.

Decentralized system

Blockchain has a decentralized system which makes it hackproof and prevents all copies of data from getting compromised. Hence all of the commodity hardware in the hospital can be made to run on these decentralized systems. This will remove all of the human-made and even natural disasters leading to very high level of security. Also the power saved by these systems can be used by the researchers to make complex calculations to find cures, treatments and medicines of various diseases and health issues.

Only One Data Source

As we have said, in blockchain all of the transactions are stored and added to the chain only after getting confirmation from all of the participants. Also the data recorded cannot be changed which gives 100% authenticity and utmost security. Hence the developers and researchers can use this feature to study a huge amount of undisclosed information of specific group of people or patients. This will help in complex studies which are done for the development of precise medicines for better treatment from diseases.

Leads to 24*7 Access and Monitoring of Data

If Blockchain is used in healthcare sector then it can be used for storing and updating useful patient data like sugar level, platelets counts, blood pressure etc. in real time with the help of IoT and wearables. This can highly help the doctors to monitor patients which are living at high risk 24*7 and to inform and send alert to their caretakers and family members if some emergency occurs.

Highly Cost Effective

Blockchain technology fully takes all the third party and mediator systems out of equation which are normally involved in fetching and transferring data. The absence of this system results in achieving high cost-effectiveness in the healthcare system.

Reduction of pharmaceutical fraud and theft

Most of the Pharma companies need to track the movement of their drugs, importantly the controlled substances, from manufacture to end points in the supply chain. When blockchain is implemented, there is a full record of the transport of such drugs and medicines, leaving far less chances for them to be stolen during the transferring processes. Also the recipients of such drugs know exactly where they came from and how they go to their endpoints. Hence the benefits in the reduction of drug frauds are imminent. 

Improved data exchanges in clinical trials

Generally, it takes very long time for drugs to get approvals. Sometimes it takes many years not weeks or months. When studies are conducted globally then there is no method by which those studies can be collected into a single database. Use of blockchain will mean that the results of the clinical trials can be securely consolidated and benefits can be demonstrated.

Lack of insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is a major concern and it is a major concern for the companies and entities involved in this process. Insurance fraud happens when dishonest providers and patients submit false claims and information to receive payable benefits. That means there is billing for services which are not really performed means there is a falsification of a patient’s medical condition to justify tests and also there are kickbacks. All of these things bring up the costs of healthcare insurance for everyone. For example, Medicare fraud in the US alone right now costs about $ 60 billion a year. Benefit of Blockchain is that its environment can eliminate most of this fraud when providers and patients have to enter their information and data which is verified, recorded and stored and health insurance companies have access to that data.

Application of blockchain technology in healthcare

We have just discussed the scope and some of the benefits of blockchain in the healthcare sector. Now we will discuss about some of its popular and useful applications.

Supply chain management

The supply chain which is happening right now in healthcare is highly insecure. Actually the drugs are manufactured at the manufacturing plants of companies. After that, they are transferred to the wholesale distributors for further sale. The wholesale distributors then transfer it to the retail companies which finally sell it to the customers and end users. Hence there is a major threat to the authenticity of the drugs as low-quality and counterfeit drugs can enter this cycle easily. Here Blockchain offers immutability in healthcare and it can solve all of these major issues easily as it can check the drug ingredients and it also offers traceability of counterfeit drugs. 

Integrity of medical records

Blockchain can be used easily to ensure the integrity of all the medical records. It is because whenever a medical record is produced or created, it can be stored in the blockchain technology based solution which will provide its full proof as the record in the blockchain cannot be changed or altered. This will be a huge benefit as the integrity of a medical record is highly important for both the medical and legal point of view whenever it is sought.

Assistance in Medical Research and Treatment

Blockchain can also prove to be highly useful for medical research work. The researchers by validated access to the patient’s data can effectively study the impact of any specific treatment over a large fraction of the patient population. These kind of research provides very good outcomes that result in the improvement in the treatment methodology for those section of patient population.

Identification of Single Patient

In healthcare sector the mismatch and the duplication of patient’s record can happen which is not good for the affected people. Also with the different schema of different EHRs makes the job difficult as it brings new ways to manipulate the simple form of data. But good thing about blockchain is that the whole data is hashed to a ledger. You may encounter multiple addresses and keys while you look for the addresses but all of them will give out a single patient identification which is the truth.


We have just discussed what is blockchain technology, what are its scope for the healthcare sector and what are its applications in this sector. That means we have covered how blockchain has the potential to transform the healthcare industry. Although blockchain is a new technology which is still at a beginning stage but its huge success has raised the expectation of people in many sectors including the healthcare. We are going to see major developments in healthcare sector now using blockchain technology. But it is not going to be much easy to implement blockchain in the healthcare sector as it might create certain challenges and we need creative and talented developers and architects to build such kind of blockchain based technology solutions. But one thing is sure it is certainly going to revolutionize the healthcare industry in coming future.

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About Arthor Alberto Freshman   

3 connections, 0 recommendations, 22 honor points.
Joined APSense since, October 30th, 2017, From United States.

Created on Apr 10th 2019 04:17. Viewed 684 times.


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