To stay competitive, safe, and secure, healthcare organizations have to apply ground-breaking solutions to age old problems. Many industries can use ground-breaking solutions, of course, but healthcare demands ongoing improvements. Blockchain is one such promising technology―for cost reduction, patient empowerment, and cybersecurity.
Here’s a bit of a preview:
Information security is a hot topic, and not just in healthcare. The world is fraught with criminals in search of information that could be used to scam people out of their hard-earned money. Healthcare information is very valuable on the black market because it contains enough detail to open bank accounts, access health savings accounts, or commit identity theft. The healthcare industry does not have the funds to secure their information like the financial industry does, so finding a more secure and cost-effective way to protect healthcare information would be a very welcome development.
Human DNA contains information on ethnic background, propensity to develop certain medical conditions, and even life expectancy and personal traits. Imagine a world where your DNA could be used for research to help improve the lives of millions around the world. A DNA bank managed by blockchain could first secure information, and then allow contributors and bona fide researchers to exchange DNA. This exchange could be managed under the privacy and consents laws that makes scientific collaboration and ethics procedures easier to maintain.
Medical claims processing is often manual and slow. Many intermediaries are involved in making payments to healthcare providers based on patients’ insurance coverage, which results in lengthy processes and frequent errors. With rules built into blockchain smart contracts and creation of the contract put into business users’ hands, intermediaries could be eliminated and the system could manage itself. Claims would be paid much faster and with fewer errors, and patient claims management would be more secure.