Whether you’ve heard of it or not, blockchain technology is about to become ubiquitous. With the ability to safely distribute sensitive data, the healthcare industry is excited about the prospect of its use. Able to protect and secure your information from data breach threats, blockchain can even improve patient health management. Jennifer Walling, a San Francisco-based seasoned territory manager with a proven record of “President’s Club” level success, delves into the exciting possibilities of blockchain technology in the medical field.
What is Blockchain?
For those who don’t know, blockchain is a technology that creates immutable and distributable data records which are shared peer to peer between networked database systems. The technology records digital events in a way that does not allow for the data to be changed or recognized until it reaches the recipient. That is why the most significant advantage of blockchain is the idea that data is theoretically secured and protected from data breach threats. With higher security than basic encryption, blockchain is a highly safe and useful method of transferring data between parties; in this case, the healthcare professional and the patient.
Technology in the Medical Field
Technological advances are of great importance in the medical field, such as wearable bracelets that transport health information straight to your doctor – if your heartbeat is unnatural, the bracelet will record that information and notify your doctor. With such dramatic positive results (like preventing a heart attack in its earliest stages) it is more important than ever to protect private online information. As such personal records are being transferred electronically, the worry of data breaches is rising as more technological advancements are introduced into the field.
What Errors Exist in the Current Medical Field That Need Addressing?
Nearly half of all clinical trials in the United States are unreported; up to 40% of healthcare records are rife with errors or misleading information. Healthcare data breaches in organizations are estimated to cost around $380 per record in the current times (though Jennifer Walling says this amount is expected to increase). As many healthcare facilities today are dependent on outdated systems for keeping patient records, the need for blockchain technology to reform the system is undeniable.
As patient numbers increase, healthcare providers deal with more and more health data on a daily basis. Jennifer Walling explains that as the data volume increases, it becoming increasingly difficult for hospitals and clinics to process and store information. Securely sharing patient health information, electronic health records, data collected from monitoring systems, and medical insurance claims are crucial for verifying the correctness of data and ensuring proper medical services.
Blockchain also has the potential to reduce financial fraud, eliminate chargebacks and provide new ways to fund services and manage health insurance. As with any businesses, the less wasteful and profitable healthcare becomes, the more confidence investors and insurers have in the system.
According to Jennifer Walling, another major benefit, of whose benefits cannot be overstated, is the ability to have a 360-degree view of a patient’s overall health. This view includes their genetic profile, demographic and socioeconomic status, behaviors that impact their health, and how they respond to different treatments or combinations of treatments. While all of this data may currently exist, it can be very difficult for medical staff to stitch it all together at an individual level.