Back to the list

DLT To Resolve Healthcare Industry Issues

Daniil Danchenko

When people talk about the blockchain, they always remember banks and fintech. Which is not surprising - they are making the headlines. However, today everything is rapidly changing as all industries want to implement blockchain in their workflow.

One of the significant examples is healthcare, where blockchain opened a whole new world, with a massive array of possibilities. Colossal, outright gargantuan amount of personal data that has to be continuously transferred back and forth is one of the reasons why it had such a vast array of appliances.

This is the reason why healthcare ended up being a perfect test ground for the blockchain. And the worst one at the same time. Ironically, heaps of personal data that stuff blockchain is the reason why it’s not that easy. Everything that touches personal data is getting into the heavily regulated grounds, with legal framework varying from country to country.  This aspect tremendously complicates the situation. For example, you can take something like recently fleshed out novation called GDPR (general data protection regulation). It just does not comply with the way how blockchain works. However, let’s talk about something real and highly practical illuminating how blockchain can and sometimes does improve healthcare.

As the first and the foremost thing where blockchain is invaluable, a transfer of the sensitive personal data can be mentioned. Simple example - during emergency medical hospitalizations people often get an x-ray, but those shots usually go missing or end up being lost. Therefore, medical personal shoots another x-ray after that. This is not good for the hospitals' workflow or the patients’ well being as an extra dose of radiation is not going to make them extra happy. Blockchain will allow keeping those shots in the network and be accessible at any time when needed.

When it comes to the general security, this is also massively beneficial. Since the very start of the rapid digitalization, hacks of the medical institutions have become very common. And in the end everything became very-very bad. Starting from 2015, a wave of hacks crippled all the trust that already waned greatly when it came to the HIT (Health Information Technologies).

But that was not the worst part of the digitalization era. Digitised data can be literally taken hostage via encrypting malware that can paralyze all the circuits of the hospital. It can be so critical that clinical administration ends up being forced to pay up. Within the system that runs on the blockchain it is not a threat.

Another massive issue in the healthcare is a problem of proper supply chains. Counterfeit medical supplies and their origin is very important because the amount of the counterfeit goods on the market is that big that becomes a good reason to be afraid.  According to the WHO (World health organization), this issue has already cost thousands of lives. And blockchain can solve it. For example, British startup FarmaTrust offers a new approach that will control drugs on their way from the factory to the counter.

As one of the FarmaTrust spokespeople said to the Bitnewstoday.com:

“Our system is based upon the serialization laws in Europe, the US, and China, and the demand is to have a unique identifier on each medical package. This identifier is used per shelf package ( eq. the smallest package up for sale). This identifier will be lifted into our blockchain and tracked on every stop it makes until the final scan at a point of sale. As the identifiers are random and transport follows a directed path up until the last wholesale location. Any identifier that travels outside the set path gets flagged directly by our tech as incorrect/possible fraudulent. This notification is given to the consumer that scans the product, the brand, and local law enforcement. Any attempt to copy the code would be rendered impossible as it takes time to customize the unique code over and over. The lost time is noticed by our tech, as the delay makes the package out of logical position.”

And this system is not going to raise prices - the difference will be very marginal and insignificant and will drop the prices on the drugs due to the correlating them with supply and demand needs.  

And financial aspects are very important here. When blockchain is implemented, it minimizes all economic issues like fake payments, double billing and many other financial problems that regularly occur without the use of blockchain-based solutions. Which is, generally, very important for both customers and life and health insurance organizations.

This does not mean that healthcare will take up blockchain all together. In fact, DLT in medicine and its mass adoption is a question of time. Just maybe a bit longer since blockchain benefits are too big to be ignored.

Back to the list