The healthcare sector plays a vital role in a country’s economy. Its economic impact can affect the gross domestic product of a country while providing the needs of the people for a healthier life. As for China, the country dives into its healthcare industry, starting an initiative to provide basic health care that citizens can afford. Mainland China alone houses millions of people, and accommodating every single one is no easy feat.
Two years ago, three Chinese web giants started their blockchain-powered initiatives to increase efficiency in the medical industry as well as keeping patients’ data private and secure. The online commerce giant Alibaba was the first to release a blockchain solution. In 2017, the company launched a blockchain medical application connecting health centers, district hospital, and medical information using blockchain. Meanwhile, China’s biggest search engine provider, Baidu, launched a blockchain solution that allows the health sector to distribute and share medical data safely and securely. It also allows safe storage of medical health records, treatments, and more. Lastly, Tencent, the gaming and tech giant, in collaboration with Waterdrop, a crowdfunded health insurance firm, plans to integrate a medical and insurance solution into WeChat. With blockchain, WeChat users can access their medical bills securely and without the hassle.
Disrupting the Chinese Healthcare Sector
The three solutions clearly targeted common patient pain points, disrupting on how the health sector tackled patient care and medical information access and distribution. With the use of impacting technologies, patients in the country can quickly access their medical records and bills efficiently. Since people use blockchain-enabled platforms to access their records, it’s one hundred percent secure because of smart contracts and encryptions as well as cost-effective since the cost of a middleman and is removed.
Not only that, it helps prevent healthcare and pharmaceutical fraud. One example is the news about a vaccine producer in China that sold defective products. Yes, details about the Changchun Changsheng scandal suddenly disappeared, but the information made its way to the Ethereum blockchain. Since posted on a blockchain platform, the information was made public and virtually impossible to delete.
The Future of Healthcare with Blockchain
There’s no denying that China and the rest of the world are still facing challenges that blockchain can’t solve, and among those problems are the aging population, unequal access, privacy concerns regarding patient data, and much more. However, blockchain and other impact technologies can help.
Worldwide, the goal is to make healthcare accessible and affordable for its citizens. Implementing blockchain will connect different entities seamlessly. With this, pharmaceutical manufacturers, packagers, distributors, and other parties involved can securely exchange information and data in real-time. It also removes the risk of fraud because nodes in the blockchain verify and record every data exchanged and distributed.