Despite the many benefits that blockchain technology offers, it’s worth noting that the healthcare industry is notoriously slow to adopt groundbreaking technologies. To understand why take a look at some of these common challenges:
Healthcare is a sensitive topic. Do you want your medical records online? Do you want hackers to have access to them? And who would pay for any damage incurred by a breach of security? Not only does this create an uphill battle for adopting new technologies in the industry, but it also means that companies aren’t willing to invest heavily in trials or research without guaranteed returns on their investments (ROI).
Healthcare is a huge industry. The size of this market makes it difficult for startups and small businesses, the lifeblood of innovation, to compete with large corporations who can throw money at R&D while they wait out regulatory hurdles like HIPAA compliance and FDA approval processes.
Global Healthcare Market
The global healthcare market is large and growing. It’s expected to reach US$8.7 trillion by 2020, which makes us wonder: why hasn’t blockchain already transformed this industry?
The answer lies with the slow pace of change in the healthcare industry/. It has been notoriously slow to adopt groundbreaking technologies like artificial intelligence or big data analytics. But there are signs that it might be changing now. For example, many leading U.S. hospitals have joined forces with IBM Watson Health on a new project called “Genomic Health Oncology Cloud.”
The goal is to use Watson’s artificial intelligence capabilities to help manage cancer treatment plans based on individual genetic profiles uploaded into the cloud platform via an app or website (see our article about how blockchain can help improve patient care). While we don’t know yet how successful these efforts will be.
They do highlight how the opportunity for innovation could open up if more people become aware of what blockchain technology can offer them in terms of security and efficiency. Furthermore, how far-reaching its impact may be across different industries.
Blockchain – Backbone of Cryptocurrencies
One such technology is blockchain, made famous as the backbone of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions. It’s shared among a network of computers, which means there’s no single source of truth.
Each node in this network keeps its copy of records and updates it regularly to ensure they’re consistent with other copies on other nodes in the network. This makes it possible to
track changes over time and prevents fraud or tampering because each change must be verified using cryptographic algorithms before being recorded in the ledger’s history (or “chain”).
Blockchain is a distributed ledger. It’s a digital ledger that can record transactions.
Blockchain is decentralized, meaning that no single entity controls it. Instead, it’s managed by a network of computers working together in what’s called a peer-to-peer system to collectively verify and process transactions without the need for intermediaries like banks.
Blockchain is a shared database technology in which data can be stored and updated by multiple parties simultaneously and in real-time, with no need for third-party verification or central management. This makes blockchains potentially suitable for recording events such as medical records and insurance claims payments (see “Healthcare: A Blockchain Playbook”).
Blockchain Security Can Be Extended
Blockchain can be used to create a secure infrastructure for healthcare data. This means that you don’t have to worry about the security of your information when it’s on the blockchain, because it is encrypted.
If you’re using blockchain technology, there’s no longer a need to keep passwords and other sensitive information in databases where they’re vulnerable to hackers or other cyber attacks. Instead, everything is kept on the blockchain itself. This means that if anyone wants access to your data on the blockchain. They have to hack into every single computer connected to the network (also known as the “51% attack”).
This is why cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin make use of digital signatures These are mathematical functions used by computers so that only someone who owns their private key can spend funds from their account. Even then only spending what was put in there previously (e.g., sending money from one account would require proving ownership over both keys). You could think about this system as having three keys:
- One public key for spending money.
- One private key for accessing funds within an account
- One private key gives full control over all transactions made between two accounts owned by different individuals within this system (the latter two being mathematically linked together through cryptography).
We were recently reminded of how slow the healthcare industry is to adopt groundbreaking technologies. When we first learned about blockchain, it was already making waves in the finance and technology worlds. But when we looked at our industry and saw that most healthcare organizations were still struggling with basic security measures like HIPAA compliance and electronic health records (EHRs), we knew it would take a while before they began exploring this new technology.
We’re here to tell you that what’s going on now will change everything Even if you don’t see any immediate benefits. Blockchain is still very much in its early years, but this new technology could completely alter how your organization operates by making data more secure and accessible than ever before.
Prevent Data Tampering and Leaks
Blockchain is a distributed ledger that provides a secure and transparent way to record transactions between multiple parties. The technology allows for the storage of data in blocks, which are public records. Blockchain can be used to store any type of data, including sensitive information such as medical records or personal financial transactions.
Blockchain has the potential to cut costs for patients and providers by eliminating middlemen who charge exorbitant fees and reducing fraud. It can do it through increased transparency (no one can modify data once it’s been recorded), and improve access by allowing people with smartphones to have access to their health information at all times.