Digital health in Blockchain
27 November 2018
Blockchain technology, while still unclear, presents numerous opportunities. A blockchain-enabled, trusted exchange of health… information, generate new insights about population health, and support the move toward value-based care. The promise of blockchain has widespread implications for stakeholders in the health care ecosystem. Capitalizing on this technology has the potential to connect fragmented systems to generate insights and to better assess the value of care. In the long term, a nationwide blockchain network may improve efficiencies and support better health outcomes for patients.
Adoption and implementation of blockchains will be an evolution over time as blockchains applications are vetted and adopted as well as the industry coming together to determine collaboration and governance issues. As it always is with new technology, the full possibilities of what may transpire in the future is unknown at this time.
The upside of migrating health data to the cloud is huge: analyzing aggregated records can help spot and curb treatment redundancies, adverse effects, and streamline data flows across stakeholders, allowing remote consultations or chronic care to scale.
More promising still, the cloud gives doctor and patients unprecedented access to analytics powered by machine learning. This makes the democratization of digital therapeutics possible, for instance to monitor heart health with a combination of AI and sensors, with companies like Cardiologs or even to keep mental illnesses in check through voice assistants.
We are entering a world where we will be able to detect undesirable health events before they happen. But none of these great services will scale if patients and doctors fear for their privacy. Choosing between technology and privacy is an impossible trade-off. We need both.
– securing privacy with regulations is not enough.
– Europe has moved forward with a bold new set of rules for platforms, enshrined into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), To avoid abusive data collection, companies will need to obtain “clear and explicit” consent from users. It introduces a rule of data minimization, forcing platforms to limit collection to what is strictly necessary, nothing more.
– Blockchain technology can fix the trust deficit in healthcare…. the question is when in the future…
– If citizen, patients will not fully trust third party institutions or regulators with their data, they will need turn to better technologies.
– It is no accident that Blockchain is emerging at this historic // upcoming moments of mistrust, therefore this new solutions promise to create “digital trust by design.
– At today, I need my health system to keep my records safe, even as my data is shared across multiple departments and physicians. In reality, I have no means of controlling where my data is going. Blockchain may changes that with full disclosure,
3 ways blockchain can restore trust in digital health:
1. Blockchain gives patients control over where their data is going by decentralizing the data. Since medical data actually belongs to patient, enforcing transparency with Blockchain technology might be helpful.
2. Blockchain allows patients to be compensated for their contribution to research by reducing the cost of care and helping to speed advancement of cure. This is truly disruptive.
3. Blockchain as an enabler of nationwide interoperability, creates interoperability where healthcare organizations operate in silos. While 95% of hospitals have adopted Electronic Medical Records in the last 10 years, every hospital seems to have its own vendor. Sharing and distributing patient medical data from one provider to the another is inefficient. Blockchain enabled transparency might just be the standard that the industry needs.
Blockchain offers a variety of benefits to the health care IT platform such as:
- Solving interoperability problems: Through the use of Open API’s, health IT systems integrate and exchange data in the health ecosystem. The easy- to- work with nature eliminate the need for the development of a complex data system.
- It is readily available for public use: Researchers, patients and healthcare practitioners can access the data stored in its database with great ease. It also supports a broad range of sources including from mobile applications, wearable devices, documents, and images.
- The blockchain is compatible with protocols and standard algorithms for data encryption. This promotes user data security.
- Data stored in this platform can be quickly distributed servers in different areas without single failure or disaster. The more transactions that happen with their data, the higher the value of the network.
I believe that Blockchain technology has the potential to transform health care, placing the patient at the center and increasing the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data. This technology could provide a new model for health information exchanges (HIE) by making electronic medical records more efficient, disintermediated, and secure. While it is not a panacea, this new, rapidly evolving field still need more experimentation, investment, and proof-of-concept testing.