The blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that allows transactions to be recorded in a permanent way without the need for centralized third-party verification. It has many applications and is disrupting traditional industries, including healthcare. Here are several areas where blockchain can improve outcomes for patients and providers alike in health care.
1. Decentralized healthcare delivery networks
A decentralized healthcare delivery network is made up of smaller networks that work together to coordinate care. It’s like a big puzzle: each piece is its own network, but the pieces fit together and communicate with each other so that we get a clear picture of how care is delivered throughout the entire system.
These smaller networks are called “patient-centered medical homes” (PCMHs), or “accountable care organizations” (ACOs). They share data and work together to coordinate care for patients as an alternative to traditional fee-for-service medicine.
2. Fraud prevention
Blockchains can be used to verify patient identity and provider identity. They can also provide a secure audit trail for prescription history, insurance claims, etc. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to commit healthcare-related crimes like identity theft, which is often an important part of their modus operandi.
3. Access to data
Blockchain can provide a single source of truth for data, which means that all of your information will be readily available in one place. Since it’s a distributed ledger that can’t be altered or tampered with, you’ll know what information is there and how it came to be.
In addition, blockchain makes sharing this information easy because the technology allows users to securely share data across multiple platforms without having access to each other’s credentials or passwords.
4. Secure exchanges of patient EHRs
One of the biggest benefits of blockchain technology is its ability to create a secure and tamper-proof digital ledger. This makes it ideal for managing healthcare data, as each transaction on the blockchain would be recorded and made available to authorized parties.
Patients could choose who can access their health records by granting access only to specific parties, such as providers or researchers. In addition, patients would have control over how their information is used; this means that they could choose if/when to share their records with care teams or family members.
5. Insurance claims processing
One of the biggest benefits of using blockchain in healthcare is how it can improve insurance claims processing. Currently, one of the major issues with this process is that there are multiple parties involved and all of them need to communicate with each other. This can lead to delays in payments or even worse, denials due to incorrect information.
By implementing blockchain technology, it’s possible to speed up this process by making sure that all parties have access to the same information at all times. This will eliminate any potential inconsistencies between different pieces of data so that everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and when they should do it by.
Another way blockchain could help with insurance claims processing is by preventing fraudulent activity altogether through use of smart contracts which automatically execute whenever certain conditions are met.
6. Clinical trials and drug supply chain management
Clinical trials can be expensive for both companies and individuals—but blockchain can provide a secure, auditable and efficient way to track the movement of drugs throughout this process. This is especially true for pharmaceuticals because counterfeit versions of potentially lifesaving medications have been found on the market before their release date or at other points along their journey from manufacturer to patient.
The healthcare industry is one of the biggest markets for blockchain technology, and it’s not hard to see why. Blockchain has the potential to improve patient data access, reduce fraud in insurance claims processing, and streamline clinical trials—all while keeping sensitive information secure from prying eyes.