10 Benefits and Challenges of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

10 Benefits and Challenges of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare
Written by Micah Phillips

Blockchain technology is the talk of tech-town from some time now with the variety of the global industries storming over its usage. Banking and finance sector is building a large number of blockchain and is working successfully.

However, the healthcare industry is using blockchain entirely in a different manner. For example, blockchain technology in healthcare is being used for digital payments, cybersecurity, EHR (Electronic Health Records), PDM (Patients Data Management), and many more.

There are many ways where the use of Blockchain in healthcare can yield positive and life-changing results. Today, throughout this article, I am going to tell you how blockchain intertwines with the healthcare industry and applications.

Currently, 69% of hospitals have stepped in the blockchain technology to manage & maintain data. While 28.6% respondents will soon introduce this secure and seamless technology in their management system.

“It is expected that by the year 2024, the global blockchain market will be worth $20 billion. Though it’s a prediction from blockchain development companies, USA, I believe the market might vary between $17 billion to $20 billion.”

And to support it, I have several reasons; a few in the form of challenges while some in the benefits, which we can get after clearing every problem. The $20 billion mark would be possible only if the offered tech support is best!

Electronic Health Records (EHR) is one set example of tech in the healthcare industry. EHR has converted pen-paper data into digital form. It seems like a blessing to physicians with a better approach in managing the data of their patients.

And now the blockchain is making that data globally secured and accessible in its data block.

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology in healthcare logs medical information, inventions, and patients data on the linked blocks. And stores the info securely on an encrypted digital ledger.

The information is not only stored in multiple locations, but lets blockchain give you the option to control and access the digital ledger. This information exchange pattern ensures that the right person accesses the correct information without the fear of hacking.

The fear of data misusage is preventing healthcare organizations and healthcare IT solutions in USA from delivering the best patient care and high-quality healthcare services.

Despite being efficient in terms of economy, these organizations are facing problems in fulfilling the needs of patients. Following stats emphasize and prove this fact:

  • Around half of clinical trials in USA are unreported
  • Up to 40% of healthcare data records have errors and misleading information
  • Healthcare data breaches have cost around $380 per record. Moreover, as the time pass, this amount is expected to increase.

Therefore, I feel that the usage of blockchain technology in healthcare can transform and deliver quality services to patients. Before, that we must start thinking about the challenges of blockchain services in healthcare. A few problems are described below;

Challenges of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

There are many barriers stopping blockchain technology’s mainstream use in the healthcare sector. For starters in the blockchain development company in USA, the tech isn’t fully understood.

Its implementation requires the best infrastructure and interconnectivity, which startups cannot afford easily. Also, technical barriers don’t allow blockchain technology to flow into healthcare fully.

Lack of control in the Blockchain environment also disrupts a network of interconnected devices in startups. However, if startups are facing difficulty in understanding blockchain, then it is okay because their role will come into existence later.

At present several custom healthcare software development companies in USA are facing challenges in implementing blockchain in healthcare at a full-scale. Let’s see each of them here one by one:

Blockchain Is New To Understand

What blockchain can enable is still very unknown to many? Though many companies are shouting loud to build blockchain healthcare capabilities, less are very little ready for the production.

Innovative tech teams are testing their blockchain applications, but they seem hesitant to move into full use of them. The hesitance is due to the fear because the healthcare sector is a sensitive issue, and no company would like to get caught up in it.

We Aren’t Understanding Blockchain’s True Nature

Blockchain technology mainly deals with data collection, but most of us equate it with privacy risk. Instead, the blockchain manages a semi-private environment where the patient/users can control their data on the data block chain.

The reality is that the companies supporting blockchain in healthcare services will ultimately validate the sources of patient information. Thus, this confusion whether data is public or private puzzles the blockchain technology progress.

Uncertainty In Storage Capability

Blockchain in healthcare industry comprises data collection of medical records, documents, images, and lab reports. All these require a significant amount of data storage space.

Conceptually, every member of the chain will have all info on the medical record of every individual in USA. This much volume of data needs a huge storage capacity. Hence, can a blockchain development company in healthcare IT solutions provide an exceeding amount of storage capacity?

The Blockchain technology concept is not a widespread one, but only a few initiatives are successful. Unfortunately, we in this society need thousand of initiatives at a local, national, and global levels to come over the blockchain technology’s uncertain situation.

Knowledge Gap Increases Technical Barriers

For a successful implementation of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry, a decent infrastructure, interconnectivity, and experts are needed. This is the most challenging factor, while the prominent issue is that people do not know much about blockchain technology completely.

Data Ownership Rules & Regulations

Who owns or who will hold the individuals’ healthcare data? Who grants permission to share it without people’s consent? There exist no rules to address the use of blockchain in the healthcare industry.

On the same side, it is also uncertain how new policies of healthcare blockchain conform the current privacy regulations such as the HIPAA act – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, US.

Note From James: Given all these challenges, I can conclude only once and for all that the knowledge gap about blockchain is not making its effective and efficient use.

What About Blockchain Development Cost?

Though the cost of establishing, maintaining, and updating a healthcare blockchain is unknown, several web development companies in USA or the custom software development company in USA charge on their own. However, what actually is the market standard is yet to be known.

Cost is a dominant factor that impacts the overall decision of blockchain technology implementation in the healthcare industry.

Other than cost, there are 4 significant challenges related to data in the healthcare industry

4 Major Current Challenges In Healthcare Data

  • Accuracy Of Data: Universal medical records in health data impacts the quality of treatment significantly. Thus, authentically informed data let the patient receives the kind of treatment. Hence, healthcare data accuracy is paramount.
  • Health Data Interoperability: A low healthcare data interoperability (the ability of the computer systems to make use of information) in healthcare data can cause damage to the facilities given to patients.
  • Security Of Healthcare Data: It is easy to alter healthcare data by changing fraudulent intent. Additionally, the data can be lost due to natural disasters or tampering.
  • Healthcare Data Handling: If the healthcare data is not recognized, managed, and organized correctly, then the collected data might fall under wrong hands.

Healthcare Data management via blockchain can be useful and provide the best security globally; either it is kept private or shared with everyone. One day, every one of us will become a part of healthcare and blockchain in the coming years.

To be the best part of it, it is must to understand the IT solutions and software introduced in the healthcare industry for combating the above challenges.

5 Healthcare IT & Software Solutions We Can Benefit From

After exploring the challenges blockchain technology in the healthcare sector, here are a few tech use cases utilizing the potential of the blockchain technology and helping the healthcare industry to be more accessible, robust, secure, flexible and reliable.

A few of the healthcare IT solutions or healthcare software solutions from which we can get benefits are as follows:

  • Health Data Management Solutions
  • Electric Health Records
  • Patient Data Management
  • Patient Payments Via Digital Wallets & Cryptocurrencies
  • Clinical Trials & Data Security
  • Medical Drug Traceability
  • Secure Healthcare Setups
  • Population Health Data Solutions

These beneficial software solutions in the Healthcare industry if are used properly under blockchain technology then blockchain in the healthcare companies in USA will prove itself as BOON!

Benefits Of Blockchain Technology In Healthcare

  • Public Health: With blockchain technology, regulatory bodies can create shared streams of de-identified patient information, helping other authorities to identify the pandemics or threats.
  • Improves Data Security: Blockchain technology is the smart solution to safeguard the patient’s information as it prevents unauthorized access from unknown individuals.
  • Data Transparency Is More: Blockchain technology increases the data transparency in the system and stores all the kind of information in a data block.

“The biggest beneficial aspect of using blockchain in healthcare is getting accurate data upon the requirement and providing complete transparency of all health records.”

  • Simplified Claim Process: Blockchain technology simplifies the complicated and long medical billing process by eliminating multiple third parties acting on behalf of others.
  • Patient Generated Information and Data: Patient can easily upload and securely store the updated medical information without wasting time and messing up any previous records.

Is There Any Future of Blockchain in Healthcare?

Considering these challenges in the implementation of blockchain technology in healthcare will make a sense to contact professionals and experts of a blockchain development company

Potential of blockchain for healthcare is highly depending upon the acceptance of the new healthcare IT and software solutions and technology.

Though certain concerns exist regarding Blockchain’s integration with the current healthcare sector systems, I feel the use cases and possibilities to make life easier is more than enough for the blockchain technology to disrupt healthcare landscape for benefits and good reasons.