The Implications of Blockchain in the Healthcare Sector
According to a report released by Chilmark on Blockchain in the healthcare space, “Blockchain is immutable and enables permanent records of transactions that cannot be changed.” It hence supports transaction verification and reduces data tampering and fraud.
A standard blockchain framework enables direct transfer of money, utilizes peer-to-peer networks to address the double-spending challenge, utilizes proof-of-work methods to conduct time-stamp transactions and uses nodes in a network to protect the network and provide a structure that enhances security. However, due to the lack of standard definition and application healthcare organizations may find it quite challenging to fit blockchain into their health IT infrastructure as the technology is new and different.
The healthcare sector precisely seems to be finding it difficult to distinguish between public and private versions of the blockchain. Though defining and implementing blockchain can be difficult, there are other ways in which it can be used, such as data exchange and interoperability.
Blockchain can play a major role in various healthcare areas, such as revenue cycle management, patient data management, quality measures reporting and the decentralized Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE). These advantages could lead to a widespread health IT infrastructure adoption, but implementation only depends on the standards that will be produced.
According to the report, if the true potential of blockchain needs to be harnessed, developers have to move beyond the technology and integrate social technologies that impel cooperation.