Healthcare is constantly being reshaped by technology. It is a development that is at times almost invisible and only do we come to realize and appreciate such transformation when changed has made it way to mass application or by being utilized as a universal platform. This is the same for Blockchain. It is a nascent technology that permeates from clinical trials to use cases and is subject for mass application when major players and smaller entities have brought it to good use.
We have seen progress made with Blockchain’s development and application when it comes to healthcare as it is geared for harnessing automation, decentralization, microservices and security to combat the challenges healthcare faces. The heavy challenges would be:
- The cost of healthcare and its incurred invisible costs from administrative processes that are dependent on actor or information verification as process stoppers.
- Patient health information security and risk management.
- Delivery of quality and precise medical information in real time that can save lives despite the increasing population and shortage of healthcare centres.
Players Big and Small
In 2019, gigantic consortiums are expected to push Blockchain as a solution and architecture to its shareholders and members as a form of equity in the massive collaboration.
For the smaller players, it is a matter of finding the right partners and business-centric decisions in whether to embark on a Blockchain experiment.
While smaller clinics and healthcare providers do not have the resources to maintain an in-house Blockchain development department, their fair market numbers are ideal for relevant or strategic partnerships. Smaller development companies and fintech companies that are technically proficient with the Blockchain architecture are ideal partners to be assigned as a technical workbench in fashioning a Blockchain for healthcare.
Maintenance of Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) software are costly in terms of hardware and the people needed to administer its end to end function from administration to security and risk management. The ageing server and shared systems are financially draining in the sense where smaller clinics would rather invest in dated software to join manual processes in managing their healthcare operations.
Virtualization is the increasing answer in deploying Blockchain enabled HER to smaller clinics, regional hospitals and public healthcare facilities. Unlike the maintenance of an in-house system server, Blockchain enabled platforms for healthcare are cloud enabled and thrives on virtual application where it removes the high-cost of entry and maintenance in favor of practical turnkey requirements such as a computer and an internet connection.
Owning Health Information
The relative progress of Blockchain will alter the perception of a patient’s health information. Whereas traditionally, it is perceived that clinics, laboratories and healthcare organizations are the owners of one’s health information – when in essence, our health information are our private records. With Blockchain’s decentralized identities in health information, the aim is to empower individuals in taking ownership of their health information/ Under Blockchain, patients can choose to share their medical information with doctors, nurses and healthcare information.
From today’s passive approach of individuals in their health information, Blockchain aims to bring back healthcare information to the individual. It changes the patient experience first hand.
Integration of Technology
Blockchain is but one technology that is changing healthcare. Other equally transformative technology includes artificial intelligence, analytics, the Internet of Things and nanotechnology. It is expected that these technology platforms will work in concert in strategic integration that will further enhance healthcare’s capability to deliver its necessary service to patients.
DynaQuest Technology Services is a Blockchain enabled IT solutions company that is working with medical and healthcare organizations in delivering Blockchain’s transformative effect through consultation, development and resource procurement.