The blockchain is slowly but surely making its way to the healthcare industry. As per Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain, a study from IBM 16% of surveyed healthcare executives responded to have solid plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56% expected to do so by 2020. The entire healthcare industry is grappling with what’s possible now and what blockchain could solve in the future.
Blockchain also has the power to contribute in drug development and supply chain integrity. It can facilitate new drug development by making patient results more widely accessible with their permission. Additionally, it can also help reduce the counterfeit drug implications that currently cost pharmaceutical companies an estimated $200 billion in losses annually.
The technology can also help in claims and billing management. The likes of $30 million losses caused by medicare fraud in the United States in 2016 can be minimized by blockchain-based systems. By eliminating the need for intermediaries with automated activities and more efficient processing, it can also reduce admin costs for billing.
Medical research is another filed where blockchain finds its application. Care and patient outcomes can be improved by centralizing the results of clinical trials and patient outcomes for new treatment protocols. With all the diverse and disconnected systems in play at present, there is no way for a human to process all the data that is generated and recorded in disparate systems for future treatment possibilities. Coming to the rescue, blockchains could provide the access to make medical innovation quicker.
The coming years will see an exhaustive implementation of blockchain technology in the healthcare domain. While being tested and vetted on how it can better support healthcare industry’s operations while future applications in blockchains will inevitably be discovered along the way.