How will blockchain technology be used in healthcare?

Fewer than 5% CIOs and only 12% of the payer industry executives have blockchain figured out in their roadmaps. That’s why, keeping aside the hype, we need to understand the realistic applications of blockchain in healthcare.

Here are five ways blockchain can benefit healthcare:

1) Single, longitudinal patient records

Longitudinal patient records- compiling episodes, disease registries, lab results, treatments- can be achieved through blockchain, including inpatient, ambulatory and wearable data- assisting providers in coming up with better ways of delivering care.

2) Master patient indices

Often when dealing with healthcare data, records get mismatched or duplicated. Also, different EHRs have a different schema for every single field- coming up with different ways of entering and manipulating the simplest of data sets. With blockchain, the entire data set is hashed to a ledger, and not just the primary key. The user would look for the address- there can be multiple addresses and multiple keys, but they will all yield to single patient identification.

3) Claims adjudication

Since blockchain works on a validation-based exchange, the claims can be automatically verified where the network agrees upon the way a contract is executed. Also, since there is no central authority, there would be fewer errors or frauds.

4) Supply chain management

Blockchain-based contracts can assist healthcare organizations in monitoring supply-demand cycles through its entire lifecycle- how is the transaction taking place, whether the contract is successful, or if there are any delays.

5) Interoperability

Interoperability, the very promise of blockchain, can be realized by the use of sophisticated APIs to make EHR interoperability and data storage a reliable process. With blockchain network being shared with authorized providers in a secure and standardized way, that would eliminate the cost and burden associated with data reconciliation.