Recent healthcare surveys provided us with results that show that on each 200 healthcare executives across 16 different countries, there are around 16% of them who say that they strongly believe in adopting a commercial Blockchain solution in 2017.
As we are still talking about quite new and fresh technology, all these responses can be characterized as very positive. We should also consider that this technology has just several real-life use cases that are functional so far. For example, British NHS says that the type of technology that offers patients to manage their own health is the key to improving the healthcare, promoting efficiency and cutting costs throughout the National Health Service.
The National Health Service is one of the first ever health organizations that chose to take certain steps in accepting the help of virtual health, putting on the side £100 million GBP for establishing centres of global digital excellence. There’s a pretty similar case in Australia, where they are working on integrating the telehealth and telemedicine services, with plans to include the artificial intelligence in regular clinical setup.
Adopting Blockchain technology in healthcare
After the thorough research and all the results we’ve got from Deloitte, the conclusion was simple. The Blockchain technology is really the most efficient solution when it comes to the following 4 conditions:
– Multiple parties that generate transactions which change the info in a shared repository
– Parties need to trust that the transactions are valid
– Intermediaries are not efficient and not trusted as arbiters of truth
– Enhanced security is required to make sure that system has the proper integrity
Benefits of adopting Blockchain
Here are several main points of Blockchain use case when it comes to Health Information Exchange (HIE) pain points and Blockchain opportunities. First we’ll start with HIE comments and then switch to Blockchain solutions.
HIE pain points
– Establishing the trust network would largely depend on HIE as an intermediary in establishing point-to-point sharing and book keeping of what data was exchanged
– Cost per transaction, given the low transaction volumes, would reduce the business case for central systems
– Master Patient Index (MPI) challenges arise from the need to synchronize multiple patient identifiers between systems while securing patient privacy
– Varying data standards would reduce inoperability because the records would not be compatible between systems
– Limited access to population health data, as HIE is one of the few sources of integrated records
– Inconsistent rules and permissions inhibit the right health organization from accessing the right patient data at needed time
– Disintermediation would not require any HIE operations as all the participants would have the access to the distributed ledger
– Reduced transaction costs and real-time processing would bring more efficiency to the system
– Distributed network for patient digital IDs that uses private and public identifiers which are secured through cryptography, makes a more secure method of protecting patient identity
– Shared data enables real-time update across the network to all parties
– Distributed, secure access to patient long-term health data across the distributed ledger
– SmartContract create a consistent method for accessing patient data that can be permissioned to selected health organizations
Benefits of Blockchain technology in healthcare
As in the paragraph above, there were many points that show the vulnerability of new technology and a lack of common standard and poor systems for sharing sensitive information, now it is time to concentrate on the biggest benefits that Blockchain tech can offer to the healthcare industry.
Cost – Switching from resource intensive processes to Blockchain-enabled processes, the costs can be significantly lowered.
Delivery – By accepting delivery models with a focus on a cooperative tech, the efficiency of all internal processes would be improved, which can only influence care delivery in a positive way
Population Health Management – Inoperability and standardization of health system would provide the better collaboration between hospitals when it comes to data sharing, which would help population health management improve and future capital planning
Innovation – Blockchain-enabled solutions can produce a higher efficiency to the entire health ecosystem, providing a higher patient satisfaction, higher standards in service provision, faster recovery, better utilization of resources, and it would finally reduce the overall costs significantly.
Operations – Switching from paper-based processes to tech-enabled ones, it would be possible to deliver a greater number of efficient processes, which would also reduce the time, effort, and resources that are required. The standardized approach can only make us enhance integration and data sharing in a more safe and user-friendly, non-complex way.
Regulation – Data sharing and various potential partnerships would lower regulatory and operational risks. However, standardization and inoperability are still necessary to create a consistent approach to data compliance framework and implementation in order to maintain regulation in health standards worldwide.
By integrating HHEM platform and Blockchain technology in the healthcare system, we will have the easy access to care, paying for services in not time, not having any intermediaries, and we will have a lot of innovative answers to current questions about regulation, operations, population health management, cost, and delivery.