Blockchain Technology: Features and Limitations in Healthcare
Blockchain technology is meant to create a more streamlined data handling process for all of healthcare. Find out the blockchain advantages and limitations.
More and more in the modern-day, business data is being examined as something that could benefit from the implementation of blockchain technology. Medical data interoperation between all care providers is considered to be like the holy grail of medical care. No barriers would exist between doctor’s offices, hospitals, or even pharmacists no matter where in the world they were located. Here is a bit about what you should know about blockchain technology in healthcare as a healthcare business owner.
Blockchain Features That Can Benefit Healthcare
There is good reason why companies like Medicalchain are getting in on blockchain technology. Blockchain technology brings with it a full list of advantages that are easy to assume and understand. Here is a shortlist of some of the most apparent blockchain technology advantages.
Blockchain Provides a Distributed Ledger of Patient Care
First and foremost, blockchain technology allows for a full ledger of patient care. If a patient goes to a hospital in one country while they are visiting, for example, their information would be completely accessible by their care provider. When that patient leaves a care provider, it would be completely possible for them to already have a followup appointment scheduled for when they get back home where their primary care physician is located.
Blockchain Data Is Stored In a Secure Way
Security is a huge concern in healthcare, and the nature of blockchain data makes it secure already. Therefore, companies that are implementing blockchain technology gain the advantage of those already-secure processes that keeps the patient’s data protected in the right way. Companies that struggle to comply with HIPPA regulations may see that things are not so difficult to achieve with blockchain technology in place even.
Blockchain Can Give Patients More Control Over Their Own Records
With blockchain, patients could potentially create their own rules around how their particular records are handled and shared, which is something that is limited in current healthcare data handling. For example, a patient could choose to make their current list of medications accessible to every provider so they never have to carry along their own list of medications to share or so every provider would already know what they are taking.
Blockchain Limitations That Can Be Problematic in Healthcare
So far, the real limitations of blockchain technology are lacking when you consider the advantages. According to Macadamian, there is one big limitation that has to be considered in blockchain technology where healthcare is concerned:
“Blockchain technology on its own is not sufficient to create a complete electronic healthcare record (EHR) solution.”
The primary limitation or concern comes in with pairing certain forms of cryptocurrency blockchain with healthcare operations. Cryptocurrency blockchains have this anonymity that is naturally attached because the actual name of a payer or payee never has to be revealed. For example, someone using something like Bitcoin never has to reveal their true identity during a transaction. Naturally, healthcare blockchains could not exist so anonymously; a patient’s identity would have to be revealed at some point in transactions and during the transmission of patient data to other providers. Therefore, there is a bit of a conflict there that exists between how blockchain technology is meant to function and how it would have to function in healthcare environments.
Final Thoughts On Blockchain Technology in Healthcare
Blockchain technology is consistently evolving and stepping its way into a lot of everyday processes. The technology could potentially revolutionize many processes of healthcare, and the ongoing implementation is proving that fact. There are some companies that are already experimenting with blockchain technology in the medical care environment, but the numbers of companies doing so are bound to grow in the coming years. The final thought is this: blockchain technology could very well make drastic improvements in healthcare. Therefore, it is well worth it to talk to a managed IT services provider to find out how blockchain technology could be used in your healthcare business.