Benefits of Utilizing Blockchain in Healthcare
When you hear the term “blockchain”, what are your immediate thoughts? Have you heard of it before? Do you know what it is? For some, blockchain is known as the “Single Source of Truth” and for others, it is just another technology term. With the amount of healthcare data growing every day and the pressure to ensure that data is stored in a secure place, the utilization of blockchain is more necessary than ever.
What is blockchain?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “A blockchain is a collaborative, tamper-resistant ledger that maintains transactional records. The transactional records (data) are grouped into blocks. A block is connected to the previous one by including a unique identifier that is based on the previous block’s data. As a result, if the data is changed in one block, its unique identifier changes, which can be seen in every subsequent block (providing tamper evidence). This domino effect allows all users within the blockchain to know if a previous block’s data has been tampered with. Since a blockchain network is difficult to alter or destroy, it provides a resilient method of collaborative record keeping.”
How can this be utilized in healthcare?
Data Storage —The blockchain is scalable, so lots of data can be stored on it. Think about all of the data healthcare generates, such as medication, diagnostic, lab, and insurance data. Also, storing healthcare data in a blockchain allows privacy and security that cloud storage does not.
Immutability — Once a block is written to the chain, it cannot be altered or deleted. When data is added or updated, it creates new blocks instead of overwriting existing ones. Healthcare requires systems that can be audited, so blockchain’s immutable nature makes this very easy to do.
Interoperable — Storing healthcare data using blockchain, it would create a single source of truth that is easily accessible by healthcare professional that have appropriate permissions.
Permission Based — Patients can finally have control over their personal healthcare data and the blockchain allows users to assign permissions to who can access their data.
How EHR Data is using blockchain
At EHR Data, we want to merge the worlds of healthcare and blockchain technology. Currently, healthcare data is being siloed in claims data and Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. This makes the data not readily accessible to another point-of-care or to public health officials who are tracking national epidemics and global pandemics. In addition, the data that is currently available is often inadequate, slow, and unreliable.
We want to establish a central connection point for all healthcare data efforts is the fastest and most efficient way to get a large population treated, while aggregating data for continued clinical research. Our National Facilitator model connects point-of-care (doctors and pharmacists) with payers and appropriate public health authorities, while documenting results in real-time, so that our leaders can make the best, most-informed decisions for U.S. patient populations and beyond.
Learn more about our plans here.