The emergence of blockchain technology has ushered in limitless opportunities for different sectors, including healthcare. Application of the technology in the sector can help stakeholders improve efficiency by enhancing services like patient record-keeping, supply chain management, and identity management. Below are opportunities for blockchain technology in the provision of health services.
Blockchain has unique features to assist health insurers to attain efficiency by cutting costs, managing risk, and improving customer service. The technology can enhance insurance in the following ways:
Smart contracts can validate the information submitted to claim insurance. Worth mentioning is that the insurance sector is prone to false claims and falsified applications. The technology can sniff out these issues and help authorities gather more info.
Insurers can use the blockchain’s decentralized consensus protocols to update listings in record time.
The traditional application process can be discouraging due to red tape. However, with an electronic datastore on the blockchain, it is easy to access records while preserving privacy.
Globally, hospitals are faced with the challenge of managing massive patient records. The storage challenge has resulted in shortcomings, especially when monitoring a patient treatment history. In some cases, poorly kept records can be fatal due to errors like omissions of crucial information. However, a blockchain-based solution can solve the problem by easily integrating with any existing electronic medical records. The solution works by appending patient records on the blockchain and can be decoded once the patient gives consent. Such a solution also enhances continuity because when a patient changes doctors, the incoming physician will access relevant data from a single place.
Managing Pharmaceuticals Supply Chain
The supply chain management based on the blockchain cuts almost across all sectors. For healthcare, the unique blockchain features can aid in managing the logistics for medications, clinical supplies, blood, and medical devices. This function can be used in fulfilling the following roles:
- Identifying products: Smart contracts can help identify products from their source and the contents.
- Tracing: The technology can monitor products between sender and receiver in real-time.
Verification of Credentials
Blockchain technology can eliminate fraud from the healthcare industry by tracking the experience of medical professionals. This function can be fulfilled in partnership with accredited medical institutions and healthcare organizations. This can assist in enhancing efficiency during hiring while fostering transparency and reassuring stakeholders that they are getting quality services from certified professionals.
Remote Patient Management
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of operations even in healthcare, with remote services gaining prominence. The growth in telehealthcare powered by the Internet of Things devices is an opportunity for blockchain. Worth mentioning is that remote patient management interacts with important and sensitive data. Hospitals can develop blockchain solutions through smart contracts to enable automated and secure analysis of medical sensors and create a log of all data transmitted on the blockchain. Interestingly, the technology can also promote real-time patient remote monitoring while enabling health practitioners to administer the required medical solutions in a transparent environment.
Although blockchain use cases are in their early stages, healthcare providers can benefit from the technology’s unique features. There is evidence the technology can enhance tasks such as record keeping, insurance management, and supply chain management. It is vital to identify the shortcomings in your current system that technology can solve.