Further, if for example a patient had a blood test done recently at one institution, they will not have to undergo the same test at a different medical center. If the practitioners in the different institutions have a blockchain application with a copy of the data, they can request to view the results of the test and when it was taken to determine its relevance. This reduces tests costs as it eliminates the need for a second testing and increases patient care across the board.
Due to block chain’s decentralised system, there is no single repository of data to hack into. With different independent parties holding copies of the digital ledger, each of whom can audit and track any changes being made to the blockchain, previously unseen levels of redundancy are introduced. Implementing blockchain protects data from hacking, data corruption or other catastrophes such as hardware failure. It can be used in validating data integrity in:
• Clinical Trials
• Submission Process
• Lower Costs
Managed permission in blockchain enables insurers to assess the validity of a claim, manage pre-authorizations and confirm that the caregivers meet the standards set in their contracts. This greatly reduces administrative costs in claim processing and underwriting while making the process fast.
Theoretically, if all transactions can be tracked, it would virtually eliminate billing errors, duplicate charges and enable real time fraud checks and audits of records. This will solve the high expenses caused by fraud in the industry. Today, companies are pushing the boundaries on anatomic, biological, environmental and physiological data collection.
Wearable such as Apple, Nest, Qardio and IoT tools all collect valuable health data. Blockchain technology has the ability to integrate all data sources. Connecting all this information streams will give unparalleled insights leading to lowered costs, greater patient care and research while allowing patients to see all this data reflected in their health records. The ability to carry your health information with you is a powerful asset.
It would enable telemedicine to occur, where patient’s files are accessible by doctors in remote areas of the world, ensuring seamless diagnosis and treatment. This would be most useful to frequent travelers or those moving who do not wish to carry their bulky medical information data everywhere they go.
Though slow in adopting this new technology, healthcare stands to benefit massively from the adoption of blockchain technology. It is time to move past the old paper trail and fax machines and move to decentralised, immutable records that are updated near real time and virtually eliminate fraud. Such a movement would have massive repercussions that would cascade into all the different areas within the health sector.