The hype around Bitcoin and its monumental returns has launched digital currencies into the global spotlight. Despite this, the technology underpinning cryptocurrency – blockchain – is actually the one that’s caught the eye of experts around the world.
Blockchain technology is slowly but surely disrupting sectors as diverse as digital marketing, finance, tourism, education, real estate, and more. Due to the security issues that plague the healthcare industry, it should start adopting blockchain technology as quickly and aggressively as possible.
The Long-Standing Inefficiency and Data Security Issues in the Healthcare Sector
The healthcare system remains a network that depends on unreliable and outdated systems to manage patient records, handle legal documentation, and process transactions.
These systems are prone to delays and human error– both have serious and sometimes life-threatening repercussions for both the healthcare system and their patients. One of the root causes is the inability to protect and efficiently process health data. Some of the most urgent issues are:
- A growing attack surface for digital health records due to poor cybersecurity
- Outdated medical software and hardware
- Increased vulnerability to data breaches due to interconnected yet weak healthcare systems
- Patient’s lack of control over their medical data
- Lack of cybersecurity education
- Inefficient processes of paper-based healthcare records
The decentralized and immutable technology of blockchain offers an encompassing solution to all of these problems.
Blockchain: The Key to Greater Data Security in Healthcare
Blockchain has several core benefits compatible with the needs of the healthcare sector:
- A Decentralized Health Data Network
The decentralized network of blockchain technology is composed of multiple users and nodes. No single entity controls blockchain. This has many applications in the healthcare arena, such as enabling users to obtain an identical copy of health information without compromising security and privacy.
- A Secure Shared Ledger
Healthcare organizations can reduce and eventually eliminate data breaches.
For one, all transactions made by healthcare facilities within blockchain will be stored in a hack-proof digital ledger that can only be accessed by authorized users. Anyone outside the system cannot change or alter data. Meanwhile, all changes to the data by authorized users will be recorded permanently throughout the blockchain.
On top of this, two-step authentication and other verification processes offer increased levels of security. Also, all data are secured with codes called hash to protect patient information.
- A Master Healthcare Database
Miscommunication costs the healthcare sector a mind-blowing $11 billion a year. On top of that, inefficient access to patient information delays patient care and wastes valuable resources.
Blockchain can wipe out this problem by creating a master patient record. Health practitioners will be able to access a central database where they can quickly and efficiently retrieve patient data.
Blockchain can put an end to almost all the data issues that affect this sector. This technology can transform the healthcare landscape as we know it, and there’s no better time than now to begin integrating it into the healthcare ecosystem.