The use of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry has the potential to revolutionize the way medical records are managed, medical research is conducted, and patient care is provided. Here are nine promising use cases for blockchain in healthcare.
Management of medical records
Medical records can be securely stored and managed using blockchain, improving accessibility for patients and healthcare professionals. The ability for patients to control access to their medical records improves security and privacy. One example is MedRec, a blockchain-based system for managing medical information created by researchers at MIT.
Professor Andrew Lippman of MIT says the goal of the MedRec project is to be like a Swiss bank for health records, but without the bank. #Bizofblockchain
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) April 23, 2018
By providing transparent and immutable trial data logging, blockchain can increase the transparency and integrity of clinical trials. The CTRR (Clinical Trials Reporting and Results) platform is an example of a platform that uses blockchain to store clinical trial data.
The CTRR platform is a blockchain-based platform developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in collaboration with other companies, including IBM. The use of blockchain makes it easier for researchers and regulators to access and verify trial data, improving the quality and reliability of clinical trial results.
Traceability of prescription drugs
Blockchain technology can trace prescription drugs from the point of manufacture to the end customer, reducing the risk of fake drugs entering the supply chain. An example is a blockchain-based network called MediLedger, which tracks the flow of prescription drugs.
Supply chain management
Blockchain adoption can increase the efficiency and transparency of supply chain management in the healthcare industry, making it easier to track the flow of medical supplies and equipment. A blockchain-based supply chain management system used in the pharmaceutical industry is VeChain, for example.
San Marino has approved VeChain’s Digital Covid certificate, which records pandemic-related medical history on the blockchain and is said to be verifiable worldwide. https://t.co/lGuqKfajQ8
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) July 2, 2021
Management of medical devices
Blockchain technology can securely manage medical device data, including usage statistics and maintenance logs, improving patient safety and reducing the likelihood of failures. For example, Chronicled is a blockchain-based medical device management platform.
Telemedicine data, including video consultations and e-prescriptions, can be securely stored and shared via blockchain, improving patient access to care. An example of this use case is the Solve.Care blockchain-based telemedicine platform.
Solve.Care has also set up specialized Web3 courses for South Koreans in collaboration with Inha University. After completing the program, students will have the skills to redesign, redefine, and improve next-generation Web3 digital health networks. Classes will start in March 2023.
In collaboration with Inha University, we have launched an educational program that offers #Web3 lessons to their students. We empower future Korean leaders to reinvent, redefine and improve their already excellent #health care system.https://t.co/6kTqfE5IrO$solve #blockchain pic.twitter.com/BpFyqlbBkX
— Solve.Care (@Solve_Care) February 14, 2023
With blockchain, drug development can be more transparent and efficient, allowing researchers to share information and work together more successfully. The Clinical Research Blockchain Platform is an example of a blockchain-based system for storing and exchanging clinical research data.
Genomic data can be securely stored and shared using blockchain, enabling more individualized and effective medical treatments. Shivom, a platform for the exchange and interpretation of genetic data, is an example.
Blockchain can be applied to health insurance claims processing to increase transparency, efficiency, and speed while reducing fraud. For example, MetLife uses blockchain to streamline the life insurance claims process, reducing the time it takes to process claims and improving the overall customer experience.
The road ahead
Blockchain can completely change the healthcare industry, from medical records management to drug discovery and health insurance. While these use cases are still in the early stages of research, they have the potential to increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.
Related: What is Blockchain Interoperability: A Beginner’s Guide to Cross-Chain Technology
However, before blockchain can be widely used in healthcare, many issues still need to be resolved, including standardization, regulatory and legal hurdles, and interoperability with current systems.