Blockchain technology in healthcare has the potential to transform healthcare, placing the patient at the center. Organizations have started to invest in research and POCs as Blockchain has the potential to connect fragmented systems to generate insights and to better assess the value of care. According to Gartner, about 20% of healthcare providers and payers will have use cases for healthcare settings; the business value addition of this emerging Blockchain technology will exceed $176 billion by 2025, and $3.1 trillion by 2030.
A Blockchain-powered system can dramatically simplify the data acquisition process. It allow the user to upload data directly to the system and give an individual permission to use his data if it was bought through the system using a transparent price formula determined by data value model. In addition, it guarantees fair tracking of all data usage activity.
Let us look at some use cases where Blockchain has been making an impact in healthcare:
- Health Records: The problem with the health system is that the patient record is scattered across various health systems during the patient’s journey. Blockchain is interesting and reliable as it is easy to track the health record scattered across multiple systems with its data integration ability between proprietary systems. Additionally, it has an innate quality of holding the fragmented health records. Blockchain could very well become a standard in healthcare interoperability.
- Data Security: Since the crux of Blockchain is that the information is distributed at various locations, it guarantees that a large number of providers can behold the trust of data safeguard without exposing any private patient/consumer data.
- Revenue Cycle, Reconciliation & Fraud: The complex nature of today’s health system means that millions of dollars are spent annually trying to figure out which patient received what service from which service provider. Blockchain could potentially form the foundation of a high-integrity tracking capability that is updated in a near instantaneous manner. This would lead to much fewer errors (with both financial and patient care upsides), substantially reduce fraud, and save on administrative costs.
- Network Contract and Performance Management cross Partner System: Blockchain’s architecture helps in optimization of the network across partner systems, thus helping healthcare organizations scale.
Healthcare CIOs need to realize that Blockchain technology is new and yet to develop fully. Early adopters will, however, reap benefits by operationalizing Blockchain in the organization, as it will create unique opportunities to reduce complexities.
There are a few things which CIOs must consider while adopting Blockchain into their organization such as reviewing their business model, processes and regulatory requirements, suitability with their business need, up to what extent they require to use Blockchain and so on. The diagram below (Source: Gartner) depicts the decision tree to be adopted for Organizations.
Most common questions faced by Healthcare CIO while thinking of adopting blockchain are:
- To what extent do I rely on Blockchain?
- Healthcare data is distributed so how easy will it be for me to implement Blockchain?
- How to adopt Blockchain in the organization?
- What is the relevant use case for my organization?
- To what level will I need architectural changes if I were to implement the Blockchain?
- How could I use it for interoperability?
- What should be my strategy to ensure data security?
Keeping the above challenges in mind, some of the mitigation strategies that we adopted for data security and interoperability were using consortium Blockchain ICO and Exchanges – wherein a special access layer protocol was used taking care of data security providing more control with whom information should be shared. Taking into consideration all the capabilities of Blockchain and our expertise in the healthcare industry, we believe that it has capability to become a pivotal innovation.
Let us know if your organization faces any of the above challenges! For more information, reach out to us at [email protected]