Healthcare is by far the most significant area where blockchain’s potential can be leveraged. An efficient healthcare system is the difference between the life and death of a patient. Let’s see what happens when a patient is admitted to the hospital. Hospital relies on patient’s memory to accurately know about crucial information like medical history, ongoing medication, allergic reactions etc.
Other times, this information is provided by family members if a patient is admitted in critical condition. Urgency to address this gap is apparent. This is just one of many issues the healthcare industry is facing today.
Following are some aspects about healthcare which blockchain has the potential to transform:
Using blockchain, a patient’s current and past medical records can be maintained on the network. While admitting to the hospital, the patient just needs to provide the public key to health professionals and after observing health records, treatment can be started immediately.
This can save a lot of lives as well as ensure accurate diagnosis and thus treatment.
It’s common in the pharmaceutical industry to have expired or counterfeited medicines to make it way back to the supply chain. This is done by replacing the shipment of good medicine by the expired ones.
With features like immutability, a shipment once recorded on blockchain can not be tampered with. If fraudsters attempt to replace, it will raise alarms in the network. In the worst case, if they succeed, they would easily be traced.
Supply Chain Management
Blockchain will turn the supply chain industry on its head by streamlining and tracking the life cycle of the product, in this case – a life-saving drug (and medical equipment).
It will eliminate a plethora of paperwork and thus save time and resources. What this translates to healthcare professionals around the world is that they will be able to treat their patients better and save more lives.
A Smart contract can be coded in such a way that as soon as the patient is admitted to the hospital, the insurance company is informed automatically. This is possible when hospitals and insurers are also participants in the blockchain network.
This can be taken one step ahead. In case of the unfortunate death of a patient, a smart contract can initiate a claim on the deceased’s behalf once the patient is declared dead by the hospital and its recorded on a blockchain.