Disrupting every industry it comes across, Blockchain has a lot of potential to transform and impact healthcare businesses as well. This transparent, secure and immutable technology when applied in healthcare, substantially reduces costs, makes it more affordable and efficient.
As per the World Bank, half of the world’s population doesn’t have access to proper healthcare. Moreover, about 800 million people including the well-to-do families spend almost 10% of their income on health expenses. This suggests that while people spend a lot on healthcare, they still lack proper facilities of healthcare. And, Blockchain seems to be a great solution to bring efficiency and transparency in the system.
While Blockchain is already doing wonders in every industry including healthcare, let’s take a look at how blockchain will impact healthcare businesses in 2020.
What is the impact of Blockchain Healthcare businesses in 2020?
With the various use cases of blockchain, about 70% of healthcare businesses will be investing in blockchain technology by 2020. Blockchain is disrupting the systems like health insurance, data exchange, clinical trials, and pharma supply chain.
Further, as per research, the prediction is that by 2025, blockchain technology could help save $100-$150 billion from overhead costs, data breaches, support functions, and IT. In supply chain functions, blockchain could help pharma companies save an estimated amount of $43 billion per annum. And, adoption of blockchain in data exchange could save $1.89 billion by 2025.
Other impacts of blockchain on healthcare businesses in 2020 are the following:
Ease Of Access To Patient Data
Patient data such as medical records and other confidential information stored on the decentralized blockchain can be easily accessed by authorized parties without getting into the hands of third parties. This not only saves time and effort but also ensures that patient data is not compromised at any stage.
Elimination of Medical Errors
Medical errors in healthcare such as wrong diagnosis, improper care, or fake medicines lead to the death of almost 251,000 Americans every year. Blockchain in healthcare can help solve this problem by integrating Artificial Intelligence and reducing human intervention.
Blockchain securely stores genomic data blockchain that is accessible to authorized healthcare providers to make informed decisions. With patient information on the blockchain, medical diagnosis can be more accurate. Moreover, it enables tracking of the source and originality of medicines and minimizing human intervention to reduce human error altogether.
Enhancing Security of Medical Records
One of the major traits of blockchain is that it provides enhanced security through cryptography. Therefore, no one can tamper the data for their own benefit. Blockchain can securely store health records permitting medical organizations and individuals to access the patient information from the blockchain. This also gives the patients control over their own data and decide who they want to allow accessing their data.
Elimination of Multiple EHRs
Different medical organizations use Electronic Health Records to store patient medical records, health data, and other information in their systems. However, the problem arises during sharing the data with others. The communication between different EHRs is not very effective. In that case, the patient’s health records have to be faxed or mailed. This might result in the information being compromised or security breaches.
Blockchain effectively eliminates the need for having multiple EHRs. This is because it provides a single database to store all the information relating to the patient. Storing the patient data on the blockchain also adds an extra layer of security. It also gives access to only a few authorized personnel to access the information.
Blockchain has made lives so convenient, that it facilitates patients to carry out a biometric diagnosis from the comfort of their homes, through a smart dispenser. It provides ease to not only the healthcare providers, doctors, etc but also to aged patients, or patients with a disability.
The patients can receive instant treatment with an instant diagnosis while being at home. The doctors can provide the necessary healthcare remotely without having the patient to visit them. This makes the healthcare facility convenient, cost-effective and time-efficient.
Efficient Billing Management
Billing frauds and inaccuracies are major issues that the healthcare systems and patients face. Blockchain not only has security as a feature but also promotes auditability. Therefore makes payment processing and billing management a seamless process. Blockchain also eliminates third parties from all processes, which saves the administrative overheads during billing.
Therefore, blockchain facilitates a fast payment process while the smart contracts help identify billing mistakes or frauds and make payments for legitimate claims through custom algorithms.
Prevent Insurance & Drug Fraud
Insurance and drug fraud in healthcare is a common problem that insurance companies face. Blockchain being an immutable ledger, seems to be the perfect solution for detecting risk and preventing insurance fraud.
Moreover, blockchain can also curb drug fraud as it tracks the manufacturing process of every drug, adding each transaction in blocks with a timestamp. This enables tracking each drug to its source and ensures the drugs are safe and original.
Blockchain enables recording clinical trials in real-time through which a more accurate and comprehensive data on population health research can be extracted. Therefore, we can avoid data fraud while matching, validating, and monitoring patient data.
Blockchain has immense potential in disrupting healthcare businesses completely with many more use cases than mentioned above. It proves beneficial for both healthcare providers and patients in saving billions of dollars for the industry while making it affordable for patients and providing access to original drugs, accurate diagnosis and a healthier life. Blockchain enhances security and promotes interoperability and will impact healthcare businesses in the sense that more than 50% will implement blockchain by 2020.