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Healthcare is a hot-button issue regardless of where you live. As a result you’d think that the industry would be one of the first to implement new information technology. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has sometimes lagged behind other industries on the deployment of new IT tools. One technology that is being used in the development of new IT tools for healthcare is blockchain. Let’s discuss how blockchain technology is being utilized and how it can change the face of patient care going forward.
Healthcare data is one of the most private sets of information out there. Known colloquially as electronic protected health information (ePHI), it covers patient data, information shared with insurers, and any other data that has to do with an individual’s health record. Unfortunately, many of the same processes that have been used for decades remain, even with major advances in technology and mandates handed down directly from governments. The lack of innovation is mostly a result of a reluctance by healthcare providers to invest in the technology and risk inefficiencies caused by the implementation of new technology.
As tools get smarter, however, healthcare administrators have started to acknowledge just how much value this technology can have for their organizations’ patients. Blockchain is one technology that is on the precipice of changing healthcare forever. It is beginning to be integrated into record-keeping solutions that will give people more control over their health data, and provide the kind of privacy that should be required when dealing with their sensitive information.
Blockchain is an immutable and encrypted ledger technology that provides some of the following benefits:
The technology that blockchain is most identified with is called an Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Electronic Medical Record (EMR). By integrating blockchain technology into these systems, individuals will have more control over their health information. As it stands, healthcare organizations and insurance companies have a monopoly over this information, leaving the patient relatively in the dark about the management of their own individual care. It’s not overstating one iota to consider blockchain technology a major step forward in healthcare reporting.
Integrating blockchain also incentivizes healthcare organizations to provide better care, as there would be a great deal more transparency. Some other benefits of blockchain in healthcare include:
What do you think? Would you like to have more control over your health records, and your ability to secure and share that information with your doctors and healthcare providers? Do you think that your healthcare provider does enough to keep your health information secure? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.