When you go to the hospital with any type of illness, your doctor often has to run a series of tests to know what's going on. Even you did that types of tests before to another hospital, your new hospital will not be able to get the reports of those tests. They have to run those tests again which will cost lots of time, money and eventually life!
This is one of the main problems in the healthcare system. Hospitals doesn't have the data of all patients. They only have the data of those patients, who were admitted and took service from their hospitals previously. And at the present world, there's no type of collaboration and data sharing system between hospitals.
Now imagine, we have a ledger where all the information about the patient and his medical history is recorded. And that ledger is public and accessible by the hospitals, nurses, pharmaceuticals, physicists, etc.
Imagine, the patient only has the authority with which hospitals he/she will share his/her medical records.
Stop imagining! Because it's happening! Blockchain made this possible.
If you have no idea about Blockchain Technology have a look at my previous article - What is Blockchain? Simplest Explanation of Blockchain Technology Ever
Now if someone goes to the hospital with any disease, and if the patients maintain a decentralized ledger which will allow doctors to check his previous tests and reports, it will save the patient's cost and doctor's time. Doctors will be able to access those data upon the patient's approval only. Even if the patient isn't able to provide the consent, he/she may select a successor who can provide access to hospitals when the patient is unconscious.
Problems is Centralized Healthcare System
Problems may occur while sharing data to the healthcare system in a centralized system -
- In centralized data sharing system records will be stored in a central database. When you are providing the authority of checking your medical history to any hospital, that hospital is getting all the power over your medical data and central database. So you're no more the only authority holder with your data, someone else has the power over you as well.
Information blockage is another problem in the healthcare data sharing system. Suppose, you gave Hospital A the power to check and share your medical records. If you hospital B then Hospital may not share the data, as Hospital B is taking away there customer or patient.
In centralized data sharing system Hospitals will have the power to change and manipulate the data if they want. Or hospital A may demand commission from Hospital B from treatment costs as they are sharing patient's data.
How to Implement Blockchain in Healthcare
So let's see how we can implement blockchain technology in the healthcare system and overcome all of these problems. I know you still have a lot of confusion in your mind. This part could be tricky and technical, but as this article is only for newbies; I will try to share everything is a non-technical way.
- Healthcare providers can collect the information from the patient or you can also update your own information in the database. I am talking about healthcare providers as all people won't be able to update their records by themselves.
- The data will be stored in the database by the healthcare providers and only the patient and his trusted person will have the main access to the database.
- Hash will be created from every source of data and redirected to the blockchain. Simply, if you go to any hospital all of your records will be redirected and stored in the blocks.
- The patient will decide who will have access to his medical records. This means only the patient has the authority over his data.
- Then the doctor can query the blockchain to gain data upon the patient's consent. If the patient approves it the blockchain will verify the request and share the necessary data with the doctor.
Major Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare
Blockchain can really change the typical healthcare system that we see nowadays. It can bring confidence, interoperability, and security.
Patient owns his data -
In the blockchain healthcare system, the patient owns his data. Like a centralized system, If he loses his medical records, he doesn't have to go to his hospital to retrieve data. Of course, the patient can't update, edit, or modify all the records, but he can decide who will have access to his data. And the patient can restrict the access whenever he wants.
Interoperability allows safer developments of care, which leads to better patient experience. For example, a patient who is out of the country and falls ill won't be able to share with all his medical records, and for this reason, the new doctor in another hospital may face problems as he has to do all tests again from the beginning to know what's going on.
If the patient gives access to data, it will be easier for the doctor to provide the necessary treatment.
Better Treatment & research
Suppose you have a friend abroad who is a doctor. And you want to share your medical history with him and want his advice. It's not possible to share all resources through messenger or email to him, better you can just provide access to the blockchain. And you friend will look at the data he needed. So you're helping your friend with research and you're getting some good suggestions as well.
In the decentralized system, medicals will be able to provide better service to more patients and the shortest time. And better treatment will be ensured.
Blockchain technology could bring the revolution in e-health sectors, let's say in the overall healthcare system. Yeah, it could be hard to remove the traditional healthcare system and implement new technology. I am not saying that it will work perfectly at first. But again, it's the technology again by which we can solve out all the problems.
Soon I will write about the uses of blockchain technology in other sectors. I am an average writer, but I tried my best to describe the importance of blockchain in healthcare. If you have any questions let me know in the comment section.
Also Read -
- Blockchain Wallet Explained: A Beginner's Guide - Click Here
- What is Blockchain? Simplest Explanation of Blockchain Technology Ever - Click Here
- Consensus Rule of Blockchain - A Simple Explanation - Click Here
- Best Blockchain for Development in 2020 - Click Here
- Basic Definitions of Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and Their Differences - Click Here
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