Blockchain technology is a pretty new field, to begin with; in fact, its inception dates back to just less than a decade ago. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that there is a myriad of logistical and infrastructural challenges that form significant hurdles in the quest of its integration in Project Healthureum to make it a reality.If anything, that’s one of the primary reasons the project has to be implemented in stages. After all, there’s isn’t any comprehensive, water-tight and functional system that has ever been created in a single day. Or is there?
Having said that, it is important to single out the fact that Blockchain technology wields a myriad of potential uses in the current healthcare sector. Nonetheless, it is haunted by a series of challenges when it comes down to high-volume, low-value transactions. Therefore, there is a need to carefully choose the right blockchain protocol that rhymes correctly with its application. A good example is how the presence of Ethereum platform in its implementation makes it ideal for permission-less and permissionedblockchain development.
Here is a quick primer on some of the hurdles as far the integration of blockchain technology in Project Healthureum goes.
A majority of medical records such as scans and full-size images are synonymous with heavy data files that may degrade the performance of the project’s blockchain structure. It is possible that the transactions within the ecosystem will be slow and energy-sapping at first before crucial updates are made. That being said, the technical developers of the system could solve this quagmire by creating a series of reference points within the transactional medium using hash codes to lessen the load. The role of these hash codes, in this case, would be to systematically verify the integrity of the data that is passing through it. What’s more, the source could also be designed to have an access control point in a way that only an authorized party can access it.
2. Lack of an Enforced System of Data Compliance and Regulation
Blockchain within Project Healthureum is set to store the data in a systematic and distributed fashion, instead of the conventional centralized system that characterizes today’s conventional record-keeping systems. Now, as much as a centralized model is hardly seamless or flexible, it ensures un-matched data integrity as long as sound data encryption is implemented throughout the system. However, with a decentralized system – and the lack of an existing system of data compliance and regulation enactment – it is possible to expose a health organization’s sensitive data to potential breaches in integrity and confidentiality. As such, there is a need for universal privacy regulations such as those enshrined in the HIPAA.
3. Lack of Blockchain-enabled or Adapted Medical Devices
As much as connected medical technology is becoming a reality by the day, there’s still a dire lack of enough blockchain-enabled devices that can allow for the implementation of a stricter and tamper-proof monitoring system. Which, as a matter of fact, is aimed at preventing the occurrence of incidences such as last year’s Europe’s PIP breast implant gaffes that resulted in a massive recall of many hip replacements. In other words, the current crop of connected medical devices would not allow a thorough implementation of a comprehensive blockchain-reliant ecosystem.
4. Insufficient or Total Lack of Personnel that are Conversant with the Inner Workings of a Blockchain-powered Healthcare Network
As mentioned earlier, blockchain is without a doubt quite a new technology that has been around for less than ten years. It is even younger than the internet itself. Nonetheless, its potential is virtually limitless, if not entirely inexhaustible. The unprecedented rise and rise of the value of some of the most common cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum says it all. That being said, there’s a notable lack of medical personnel who are entirely conversant with how a blockchain-powered network (such as the one that will takeCentre stage in Project Healthureumworks. Hence, this implies that the full implementation of the project could take longer than expected as there will be a need for mass sensitization of this kind of technology to the general masses.
As much as the blockchain technology facet of the project is expected to face these hurdles in the course of the implementation of the program, it is essential to recognize that the tech is still relatively new. In other words, the far-reaching positive impact that such standardized healthcare ecosystem is likely to have is beyond the threshold of the imagination of many stakeholders of the project.