Healthcare is on the cusp of a digital revolution. How is blockchain helping maximize efficiency?

Healthcare is on the cusp of a digital revolution. How is blockchain helping maximize efficiency?


Mar 17, 2023

Blog Healthcare , Health Maintenance Healthcare is on the cusp of a digital revolution. How is blockchain helping maximize efficiency?

Healthcare is on the cusp of a major transformation, one that will see systems, medical records, and care digitalized. As systems become interoperable and more IoT devices enter the healthcare matrix, security becomes an even greater issue. This is driving healthcare providers to seek out the possibilities of blockchain.

As a decentralized digital ledger technology, blockchain can help enhance digital security in healthcare. It allows patients to access their health data safely and enables secure transactions. This will play a key role in mitigating the threat of fraud and data breaches – which are, at this stage, increasing in number.

Blockchain has extraordinary potential to revolutionize healthcare – and this potential is beginning to become realized. BCC Research estimates that the market for blockchain technology in healthcare will witness growth at a CAGR of 61.1% between 2022-2027. This staggering percentage will bring the market to a value of around $7 billion by the end of this period.

Advantages of blockchain in healthcare

The integration of blockchain technology into healthcare will offer numerous benefits, with data security being top of the list. But there are several advantages, including:

  • Transparency in the supply chain: Healthcare providers face considerable challenges with murky supply chains. Often, it’s incredibly difficult to pinpoint the origin of a pharmaceutical drug or technology, making it impossible to verify the item’s authenticity. The blockchain-based supply chain tracking system allows users to track items from manufacturing to distribution. Customers gain complete visibility and transparency into the goods they are purchasing. This is particularly integral to developing markets, where fake prescription drugs cause tens of thousands of deaths a year.
  • Data management and sharing: Data breaches are climbing. While it’s impossible to isolate a patient’s medical records with so many parties needing access to them, blockchain ensures secure and controlled access. The unique ID of a patient allows stakeholders to store patient information as blockchain blocks. This method allows patients to remain anonymous when sharing health-related information.
  • Patient-centered electronic medical records: Healthcare systems around the world are wrestling with the problem of silos. This is making patients and healthcare providers at risk of not having an in-depth understanding of medical histories. Fortunately, this problem can be addressed through blockchain. It’s entirely possible to create a blockchain-based system for medical records in conjunction with existing electronic health record software.
  • Blockchain-based payments: Blockchain technology makes it possible to receive medical assistance and pay for it using cryptocurrency. A technology-focused medical group such as Aveon Health is one example. The medical group recognizes the benefits of Bitcoin as a virtual currency, and offers its users the ability to receive and send Bitcoin electronically through wallet software.

Global Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Market

BCC Research’s recent report Global Blockchain Technology in Healthcare provides an in-depth view into the market and technology background for this sector. Download your complimentary report overview or purchase the report in full here.

Trends to watch out for

Healthcare providers are no strangers to compliance, financial, and operational challenges. These range from streamlining complex multiparty engagements and maintaining patient data integrity to auditing the prescription drug supply chain. With blockchain technology’s ability to help reduce costs, fix administrative inefficiencies, and drive profits, promising applications are emerging.

  • Decentralized credentials exchange

Professional credentialing in healthcare is an expensive process. Caregivers are required to maintain their separate credentials with dozens of organizations, which can be costly. Blockchain can help spread out costs with decentralized credentials. For example, Nashville-based Hashed Health has created a blockchain exchange for driving professional credentialing. Through this, healthcare providers can leverage a single shared source that offers the most verified and recent credential information associated with each exchange member.

  • Smart contracts in healthcare

Blockchain-based smart contracts are a key innovation, driving transparency in typical healthcare ecosystems. The technology is fostering trust among industry stakeholders including doctors, hospitals, specialty pharmacies, and health plan providers. With the use of blockchain technology, healthcare payers and drug makers will be able to write and encode smart contracts to enforce negotiated pricing for prescription drugs. The system triggers an instant payment to the manufacturer when a patient orders any drug in the favored formulary.

The future of blockchain in healthcare

Evidently, blockchain has huge scope to transform healthcare. Patients will receive better care and costs will be reduced considerably, a win-win for both patient and provider. But the industry should continue to foster an atmosphere of growth and innovation to truly maximize the potential of blockchain. Some key future developments that could help bolster blockchain include:

  • Consolidation of startups and user education: Startups are looking at blockchain applications in the health field and attempting to consolidate with existing major vendors through acquisitions or partnerships. With so many misconceptions surrounding how blockchain works, better educational programs are required to bring out its full potential.
  • New modalities for consent: Blockchain could alter informed consent by allowing patients to sign fewer consents for each clinical visit. At some point, patients may need only to provide a single consent to share and exchange their data. This approach makes it far easier for patients to manage their medical journey by simplifying the administrative process.
  • Track clinical outcomes: Blockchain technology could also be used to verify the integrity of medical records, making them immutable. This could make it easier to document medical errors in the future and keep track of the outcomes of treatment.

Global Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Market

Blockchain is gaining momentum around the globe. In healthcare, this means a patient-centric approach can be prioritized, and critical patient data can be effectively managed. With tremendous growth on the cards, there’s never been a better time to deepen your understanding of the market for blockchain within healthcare.

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    Olivia Lowden

    Written By Olivia Lowden

    Olivia Lowden is a Junior Copywriter at BCC Research, writing content on everything from sustainability to fintech. Before beginning at BCC Research, she received a First-Class Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

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