The Health Sector is one of the major beneficiaries of the ever-growing Blockchain technology. According to a Cointelegraph report, Distributed Ledger Technology is increasing funding for medical research while modernizing the handling and coalescing of patients’ data records. Improving these two areas collectively overhauls the health sector by leading to better healthcare delivery through data-driven means.
Health Care Is Becoming A Global Concern
Globally, the burden of disease is a common concern. In the developed world, the general life expectancy is skyrocketing with the proportion of people aged 65 years and over expected to surge by 100% by 2035. On the other hand, the developing world has a massively growing population which means that the demand for health services is occurring across all age groups. Hence, Blockchain technology is offering an easier way of managing the health sector through the use of data-driven Blockchain methodologies. This will better serve any group of people depending on the prevailing medical care needs.
Medical Data Sensitivity
Medical data is vital to both patents and medical practitioners. To patients, their information is a private affair and it has to be secured by the healthcare institutions they entrust with personal information. Meanwhile, the healthcare industry depends on accurate diseases data to source for resources to develop medical equipment, research on new drugs, or redirect medical supplies to avoid shortages in needful areas.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies have features such as decentralization, security, smart contracts, peer to peer transactions, and other protocols that can be applied in efficient, transparent, and private data management to meet the needs of patients and the healthcare industry.
Thus, data efficiency will be vital in the processing and storage of treatment and patient data and not the actual process of treatment and disease management.
Specific Case Adoptions
In November 2018, a South Korean hospital known as Myongji Hospital started to work with a Korean IT firm, BICube, to set a DLT platform. The network is a data exchange system and is the first of its kind to be used in the transfer of medical data from one health institution to another.
In Australia, there is a nationally funded programme that aims to offer support to a company known as Lancor Scientific. This project aims to build a cancer screening tool that is 90% accurate and using Artificial intelligence for screening and Blockchain technology for data storage and any other after-use.
Lancor CEO Aamir Butt believes that the yet to be fully tapped Blockchain technology will be fully embraced in handling medical data in the coming years.
Real Data For Funding And Treatment Planning
The traditional healthcare data systems such as the NHS does not tie data to specific patients or locations but to events. This has the effect of discouraging targeted focus in managing burdens of disease which for instance varies between rural Tennessee and the New York City boroughs.
On the case of funding, Blockchain technology is being in the medical research industry by firms such as Verseon- a California-based pharmaceutical company. This use-case will set a precedent that will be applied in modernizing funding research and data management in the healthcare industry.