The healthcare industry has been among the slowest sectors to adopt modern technology and as a result, has suffered from many high profile data breaches in recent times. The National Health Service cyber attack which brought the British healthcare system to a standstill last year was among the biggest hacks in the world at the time. Additionally, healthcare systems across the globe regularly suffer from data breaches which leave a lot of people’s personal information exposed. Here’s a look at how blockchain technology can be used to make more secure systems for the healthcare industry.
Benefits of Blockchain and Decentralized Storage
Blockchain’s most significant benefit is, without a doubt, that it can be used as a truth ledger because the data appended on the blockchain is resistant to tampering. In a blockchain’s decentralised network, every user has a set of public and private keys that they use to ascertain authenticity. The key pair is linked such that one must have the private key to access a user’s information on the blockchain. Any changes to the blockchain require the approval of the majority of the network, and this brings a lot of transparency to the management of information. The benefit of keeping a network decentralised is that no single entity is in a position to manipulate the entire system. This adds a lot of security to the storage system making Blockchain Technology a great platform to use to store sensitive information.
Blockchain Technology and Health Care
The benefits of secure data storage extend far beyond just financial applications to things like efficient supply chain management, authentication of records and many others. Here’s a look at how Blockchain Technology can help the healthcare industry:
Drug Traceability – Blockchain Technology can be used by drug manufacturers to create a platform where each transaction between them and consumers like pharmacists and patients can be tracked to make sure that the drug is authentic and that it hasn’t been tampered. Not only does it make the drug delivery more secure, but doing so also makes it harder to abuse drugs by illegally stealing them from dispensaries.
Platform for Authenticating and Sharing Medical Records – Medical records are among the most sensitive personal information that people do not like being leaked to the public. However, as recent hacks have shown us, healthcare is also one of the most hacked systems due to lack of secure systems. Healthcare industry is tricky for records management systems because, in addition to keeping the records safe, it is also essential to be able to freely share information between different doctors, insurance companies, and pharmacists. That is why Blockchain Technology is the perfect tool to authenticate and share medical health records. Blockchain Technology can be used to track medical information and requests for access to a patient’s medical history can be approved or denied in real time. Therefore, Blockchain can be used as a Data Access Management system which can hold hashes of all the requests for medical information. Blockchain Technology can store authorisations for user permissions for doctors, patients, nurses or any authorised organisation. Therefore, only authorised personnel may access record information. This can result in worldwide data interoperability.
Making Clinical Trial Data More Secure – As Blockchain Technology can be used for creating a permanent, tamper-resistant repository of data, it can be used to create a platform where altering or modifying data from clinical trials fraudulently can be eradicated. Also, integrating the service with Ethereum’s smart contracts will allow for rule-based methods for accessing patient’s medical history. Patients can choose to share their medical histories with their doctors or other health organisations that they want by authorising the request with their private key.