Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Media and Chief Health Officer of Ever Medical Technologies.
One of the biggest buzzwords being thrown around the field of medical technology is “blockchain.” This is for good reason. Simply put, blockchain holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare. With its full deployment, patients can be truly focused on at the center of all operations, which in turn will also be entirely overhauled with better security, privacy and accessibility. But how exactly does blockchain enable all this? How is the health industry fully utilizing this vastly capable cutting-edge technology?
What Is Blockchain?
First, let’s dive deeper into what blockchain really is.
A blockchain is a distributed system that generates and stores data records. It maintains a digital ledger of connected “blocks” of information that represent how data is shared, changed or accessed on its peer-to-peer network.
All devices on the same blockchain system will generate identical blocks when a connected device is involved in any kind of transaction. If one computer’s data is accessed, changed, shared or otherwise manipulated in any way, a block is generated to locally record that information on every device. This way, changes to data can be easily identified. It’s a decentralized approach that allows data parity to be achieved by comparing every connected device’s blocks.
On top of simply recording and comparing data is the utilization of “hashing.” Hashing gives every block a unique identifier that changes based on its contents. If a block’s data were to change, so would its hash.
This is important because blocks are stored together in chronological order and also directly reference the preceding block’s hash. Therefore, trying to change the data of one block would immediately cause a succeeding block to identify a hash change. It is for this reason that connected blocks form a “chain” securely wrought in an immutable, reliable, decentralized manner.
Accurate, secure and a catalyst for utmost accountability, blockchain makes it almost impossible to mimic, manipulate or otherwise falsify data. This opens the doors to many possibilities — chief of all being the exchange, storage and access of data between connected parties.
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How Blockchain Is Affecting The Medical Industry
Being open and highly secure means blockchain can be applied to the medical industry in a variety of ways, leading to immensely reduced costs and new ways for patients to access healthcare.
Combined with the compounding nature of data and innovation, futureproofing technologies can be further applied to foster an era of growth and innovation.
Already, pioneering companies are laying the foundations for a blockchain revolution. Here’s how they’re transforming the medical industry.
The medical industry has suffered greatly from the inability to securely share and access sensitive patient data. Blockchain, however, will facilitate finely customizable openness while upholding only the best security standards for true interoperability. In turn, this will allow health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.
Chronicled utilizes blockchain technology in its MediLedger Network to bring together trading partners and medical institutions closer than ever before. Without the constant threat of communicative and organizational mishaps, room for much greater innovation and industry development has been created. From the automation of once-hectic processes to greater accountability from all parties, blockchain enables a new world of trust and collaboration.
Acquired in 2020 by HealthVerity, Curisium employed blockchain to create a platform for rebate negotiation and contract management. Everyone in healthcare knows how complex contract negotiations can get, not just in discussion but in how time-consuming and cumbersome they can be.
By creating a system that streamlines this process, Curisium allows providers and payers to take part in innovative contracting arrangements that are efficient and secure. All in all, HealthVerity’s acquisition has resulted in the extensive customization and seamless automation of workflows to enable expanded opportunities for collaboration and cost-savings across all parties.
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Built from the ground up with the goal of fostering innovation, Ever, where I serve as the chief health officer, has an EHR solution that can be quickly and readily applied even to existing hospital networks. Connecting over 170 hospitals and 5 million patients, the Ever Network provides an integrated but modular suite of software that features secured and trustless data exchanges, big data collection and analysis, and machine-learning/artificial intelligence-powered tools and features.
Established in 2017, Ever has modernized and equipped Thailand’s medical landscape with a blockchain, data-driven, patient-centric network. It enables best-in-class security for all connected data and parties while maintaining close and easy communication with trusted parties — all on a flexible, future-proof, scalable blockchain foundation.
Blockchain networks let organizations establish transparency and privacy alike, helping to conceal sensitive patient data while allowing access and sharing when needed. Protected by state-of-the-art security solutions, attackers would require vast computational capabilities to even attempt targeting a blockchain-powered network, severely limiting the frequency, possibility and effectiveness of attacks.
Patientory leverages this advantage in the development of patient-centric applications and services, giving the company more control over their well-being. Up-to-date patient histories and data, pandemic tracking and reporting, secure communication with verified healthcare personnel and much more are a reality with their slew of innovative solutions.
A Future Alight With Innovation
One of the most exciting aspects of blockchain technology is the foundation of growth and modularity that it provides. Though its initial implementation will face the same limitations as today’s technology, blockchain’s open nature will encourage and support industry-wide advancement for years to come.
In fact, BIS Research has revealed estimated reports that the immediate application and integration of blockchain in healthcare could save more than $100 billion per year in costs related to IT, operations, support functions, personnel and health data breaches by 2025.
While many exciting and creative blockchain solutions have emerged from pioneering companies around the world, this is only the beginning. Join the transformation today and help push the boundaries of medical technology — all while laying the foundations for a data-driven future that will drive medical breakthroughs at an unprecedented scale.
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