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 delivered. Here are nine promising use cases for blockchain in healthcare.
Medical record management
Medical records can be safely stored and managed using blockchain, improving accessibility for patients and healthcare professionals. Patients’ ability to control access to their medical records enhances security and privacy. One example is MedRec, a blockchain-based system for managing medical information created by MIT researchers.
MIT Professor Andrew Lippman 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 offering a transparent and immutable trial data record, blockchain can increase clinical trials’ transparency and integrity. The Clinical Trials Reporting and Results (CTRR) platform is one example of a platform using 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.
Prescription drug traceability
Blockchain technology can trace prescription medications from the point of manufacture to the final customer, lowering the chance that fake medicines will enter the supply chain. An example is a blockchain-based network called MediLedger, which tracks the flow of prescription medications.
Supply chain management
Blockchain adoption can increase the efficiency and transparency of supply chain management in the healthcare sector, making it more straightforward to follow the flow of medical supplies and equipment. A blockchain-based supply chain management system utilized 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 reportedly verifiable worldwide. https://t.co/lGuqKfajQ8
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) July 2, 2021
Medical device management
Blockchain technology can safely manage medical device data, including usage statistics and upkeep logs, enhancing patient safety and lowering the likelihood of faults. For example, Chronicled is a platform for managing medical devices based on the blockchain.
Telemedicine data, including video consultations and electronic prescriptions, can be safely stored and shared via blockchain, enhancing patient access to care. An example of this use case is the blockchain-based telemedicine platform Solve.Care.
Solve.Care has also established 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 begin in March 2023.
Together with Inha University, we have launched an educational program that offers #Web3 courses to their students. We’re empowering future Korean leaders to reimagine, redefine, and enhance their already excellent #healthcare 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, enabling researchers to share information and work together more successfully. The Clinical Research Blockchain platform is one example of a blockchain-based system for storing and exchanging clinical research data.
Genomic data may be safely stored and shared using blockchain, enabling more individualized and efficient medical treatments. Shivom, a platform for exchanging and interpreting genetic data, is an example.
Blockchain can be applied to the processing of health insurance claims to increase transparency, efficiency and speed while decreasing fraud. For instance, MetLife is using blockchain to streamline the life insurance claims process, reducing the time required to process claims and improving the overall customer experience.
The road ahead
Blockchain can completely change the healthcare sector from medical record management to drug discovery and health insurance. Even though these use cases are still in the early stages of research, they have the potential to boost healthcare delivery effectiveness 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, numerous issues still need to be resolved, including standardization, regulatory and legal impediments, and interoperability with current systems.