As a Medical Doctor I ask myself what are some potential uses of blockchains in healthcare?
Okay, so for those who must be wondering,
What is a blockchain?
In general a blockchain is defined as a distributed system which records and stores transaction records.
Blockchain more specifically is defined as “…a shared, immutable record of peer-to-peer transactions built from linked transaction blocks and stored in a digital ledger.”
Blockchain is also similar to a database which stores information, however the main difference is that the data is located in a network of personal computers called nodes where there is no central entity such as a government or bank controlling the data.
How can blockchain be used in healthcare?
- Drug Traceability where each transaction between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists and patients can be tracked to verify and secure drug product information important for tackling issues such as counterfeit drugs.
- Improvement and authentication of health records and protocols on record sharing.
- Smart contracts where certain rule-based methods are created for patient data access. Here, permissions can be granted to selected health organisations.
- Clinical trials where altering or modifying data from clinical trials fraudulently can be eradicated.
- Precision medicine where patients, researchers and providers can collaborate to develop individualised care.
- Genomics research via access to genetic data secured on blockchain
- Electronic health records (EHRs)
- Nationwide interoperability
As a medical Doctor who is also interested in Total person care and treating each individual as equal and worthy of dignity and respect, blockchain technology gives me the technological possibility of actually implementing my values in practice.
I look forward to more developments in the field of Blockchain in healthcare. God bless.