Blockchain is the new buzzword. Every industry is trying to leverage this technology in one way or the other and hoping to make things better specific to the industry. The Trillion dollar healthcare industry also does not want to be left behind. What does Blockchain have to offer to the healthcare industry, how can it make things better and clear the bottlenecks and what are some of the projects underway working on the same. Let’s have a look at the answers to these questions in this article:
Blockchain is defined as “…a shared, immutable record of peer-to-peer transactions built from linked transaction blocks and stored in a digital ledger.” Wondering what does that mean? Consider the following diagram:
As in the traditional systems, the network that is followed is one following the star topology with a highly centralized approach. A centralized party caters to multiple peers, but in case of blockchain, every peer is connected to each other and share the same data with each other with every peer having a copy of the global ledger.
For an example, the user A and user B have the same data and whenever user A makes a change to the data on his node, it gets broadcasted to user B and the change is reflected there too! That is how amazing blockchain is! Now talking about medical blockchain, we have simply one word to say how it will make things better, it will “revolutionize” them!
Currently, when a patient goes to a doctor and the doctor writes a prescription, a medical record is created related to the same. When the pharmacist fulfills the prescription, he creates a medical record for the delivery. And all these systems of records operate in isolation from each other. Yes, even today in 2018. Medical Blockchain follows a patient-centric approach allowing the doctor, the patient, the pharmacist and all the other stakeholders operating on a single network to remove discrepancies, increase transparency and fight huge problems like stolen and counterfeit drugs, patient awareness, etc.
Let us have a look at some of the healthcare blockchain projects:
The Mediledger Project; Fighting the $200 Bn Drug Theft and Counterfeiting Problem:
The LinkLab and Chronicled started MediLedger in 2017, successfully bringing competing pharma producers and distributors to the same table. Together, they have designed and implemented a process for using blockchain technology to improve the track-and-trace capabilities for prescription medicine.
At every level of the supply chain, the mediledger tracks the movement of drugs keeping everything accessible to the patient, distributor as well as the pharmacist to make delivery of fake and stolen drugs almost impossible.
Robomed; Pay for results, not the medical process:
Imagine a world where healthcare becomes result oriented. Rather than paying thousands of dollars for the long and slow medical process with no assurance of the result, you pay only if your problem is resolved by the doctor. Robomed is a revolutionary medical blockchain project connecting healthcare providers and patients via smart contracts and ensuring output-based approach in the relationship. Launched in Dubai and Russia, this is a great step towards value-based healthcare. All thanks to blockchain in healthcare.
Medrec coin; Next level security for medical records:
Medical records are by far the most compromised yet the most private data for any person. Medrec coin is an initiative to create a network of records over an ethereum blockchain where the patient gets to know where is his record being accessed. How revolutionary is this to ensure privacy and security. It does not stop here! Using data science and machine learning, the medical records of a patient can be tracked with people matching his genetics, family, etc to have an idea of what is the risk of a patient developing a disease. The Medrec coin is being supported by MIT and is a great project to look forward to.
Use of blockchain in healthcare can actually change how the things work currently making the industry more patient friendly! The projects have a nice roadmap giving a glimpse into the marvelous future!