Decentralization is a monumental process that is also being introduced in the sphere of healthcare. New opportunities and values are emerging, business models are being improved and the existing systems of healthcare are being democratized. Now digital transformation is the main strategic priority. Having studied the Frost & Sullivan Blockchain Technology researches, it is apparent there are 5 opportunities of growth of the blockchain technology in the field of digital transformation of the healthcare industry.

Blockchain solves cybersecurity problems.

There is strict policy, security and confidentiality standards in the healthcare industry. Healthcare systems, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers need secure and reliable IT ecosystem. The 2017 IBM Security ? Ponemon Institute research states that the average cost of data leak in the sphere of healthcare has increased, the price per one document has amounted to $380 and it has declined by 10% in other spheres. It means that cybersecurity threats are becoming a serious problem of healthcare companies. For example in 2016 the  Johnson & Johnson company warned its patients that a “OneTouch Ping” insulin pump could be hacked. The more technological healthcare is becoming the higher the risk of hacker attacks is.

The systems based on blockchain work in the distribution network together with in-built methods of cryptography that makes it virtually impregnable. Potentially blockchain can minimize cybersecurity threats and increase the level of trust. Due to blockchain healthcare companies can use more reliable and secure strategy for managing devices identification and improve confidentiality of patients data.

Medical data exchange

Data exchange in healthcare is a complicated process. To exchange data two systems or organisations should trust each other and use data with shared responsibility. Meanwhile the real problem is the lack of security and integrity in the existing HIT systems.

This trend encourages the search for technological solutions. Blockchain has become the solution. Properties of the blockchain ensure the data invariability and secure working process and guarantee integrity of medical data exchange.

Consumption in healthcare sphere

Consumer demand for healthcare is characterized by the emergence of digital solutions for medicine. There is lots of personalized data about health and way of living. Modern consumers of healthcare services are more serious about their health and self-care. The Frost & Sullivan research shows that approximately 69% of Americans pay attention to their state of health. 41% of respondents want to change the doctor and 74% of patients appreciate notifications and news received after the visit to the doctor. Nevertheless, most consumers rarely get access to personalized variants of treatment and reminders of the doctor’s appointment in real time. It is connected with the possession of personal data, confidentiality and the existing HIT systems.  New solutions in the sphere of digital healthcare have a crucial importance in this multilayer digital space.

As an instrument with an open code blockchain provides function of identification management with a predetermined access of confidentiality. It gives patients more control over health data. Apart from that, storage of encrypted data about state of health allows consumers share anonymous data about health selectively, for example for the purpose of research.

Economic values

Digital democratization will require more in-depth use of IT by health care workers. The new vision of healthcare is not only available medical care, quality and reasonable cost but also predictable, preventive and the result-oriented model of treatment.

Due to the reduction of  healthcare costs around the world, the blockchain technology provides new opportunities for the economic advantage. Blockchain automates transaction services within business processes, for example, processing of claims, management of accounts, supply of medicines. Decentralization of blockchain makes it easier to build commercial relationships and provides new opportunities for promoting models of providing assistance that help to save billion dollars for healthcare sphere.

Precision medicine

The industry estimates that about $300 billion is spent annually on ineffective medicines which do not provide the expected benefits or cause dangerous side effects. In this regard pharmaceutical companies face pressure and try to justify the value of their medicines. It’s time for them to move from producing “bestsellers” to developing  personalized medicines. The concept of precision medicine promises to change the model of treatment. Personalized data is the most important part of precision medicine, but there are problems related to interaction of medical data, confidentiality.

Blockchain technology with its security infrastructure is perfect for unobstructed data exchange in healthcare. It can promote innovation in medical research and the carrying out of larger population studies.  As pharmaceutical companies focus on precision medicine, the invariability of records based on blockchain can facilitate interaction between doctors, researchers and patients.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology can help healthcare industry to solve some of its problems such as cybersecurity, data compatibility, medicines supply, problems concerning bank account fraud. Besides blockchain provides opportunities for optimizing the existing IT-systems and introducing new business models. Despite the great potential of blockchain for healthcare it is not a panacea. Blockchain cannot solve the healthcare problems.

Written in conjunction with Andrey Federov, CEO of Petlife, 

 

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