You’d think that the healthcare industry would be at the very cutting-edge when it comes to information technology implementation. That isn’t always the case. One technology that developers are really looking to take advantage of in the healthcare space is blockchain. The technology behind cryptocurrency is being used to help patients better control their care. Let’s take a brief look now.
The importance of health data cannot be understated. Known technically as electronic protected health information (ePHI), it covers patient data, insurance information, and other data that makes up an individual’s health care profile. Unfortunately, the rate at which technology is implemented is extremely slow. In fact, hospitals basically function the same way they have for decades. This is a combination of a lack of innovation and a reluctance to invest by health maintenance organizations that already have extremely high overhead.
Blockchain, an immutable and encrypted ledger technology, is changing this trend. Since each block (node) in a blockchain is secure and bound to actions taken in previous blocks, it can have some serious benefits when used to secure ePHI. Some of the reasons developers are looking to integrate blockchain technology include:
By integrating blockchain into an EHR (electronic health record) system, it in effect provides a level of consistency that has never been seen before in the healthcare industry. A blockchain-run EHR would keep healthcare organizations, or worse yet insurers, from essentially owning a patient’s ePHI. This would revolutionize the entire industry as it would be the basis for a patient information sharing marketplace. It would incentivize the free sharing of relevant patient data to help healthcare organizations provide better care, and get people the care they need as they would have access to all the information tied to a single patient. Some additional benefits would include:
Those are only a few benefits that blockchain can bring to healthcare. If you would like to learn more about blockchain or if you run a healthcare practice and would like to talk to one of our experts about this emerging technology, give us a call at 094 90 48200 today.
Seán is the Managing Director at Aniar IT Services and has been working in IT for over 20 years
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