Is Blockchain the Solution for Trust in Healthcare?

Geoffrey Gardiner   Feb 02, 2020 13:00 2 Min Read


Over the past few years, blockchain has been spreading across all sectors and making its presence felt. The healthcare industry has been no exception; however, what is rare in regards to technology, is that healthcare has been leading research rather than following it. 

Discussing movement in the sector, Innovation Consultant Judith Schuermans and Dr. Sebastiaan Van Herk gave their thoughts on how blockchain may be precisely the solution for many of today's problems. 

Data security and privacy led the discussion, as both believed that trust in healthcare should be a building block. Around 1.13 million patient records were compromised across 110 incidents in the first quarter of 2018 alone. 

The largest of these incidents opened up access illegally to over 270,000 patients’ records, including billing information. On average, it was found that breaches take as long as 244 days to verify. Meaning that some Healthcare organizations will not even know there is a problem for as long as one year later.

Global healthcare and spending on security measures have been set to exceed 65 billion USD leading into 2021, as criminal attacks have grown into the number one cause of the attack. Previously, employee error was top, with information leaks and mistakes being made. With more and continued investment in security, this is where blockchain has already been making its mark. 

The blockchain solution

Blockchain gives patients control over their medical data. Patients decide when it can be shared, who can access, as well as instant access to their own medical insights. If we think about an ambulance call, currently, it is difficult to give the Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics exact information about ourselves. If we had access to our data, we could immediately share with healthcare providers in our time of need. Do we have allergies, is this an occurring healthcare problem? What is our blood type? Information that can save lives. 

Whether this can be achieved by using mobile applications or combined with wearable devices, there is still much to develop.

Healthcare on our devices

Currently, in 2020, it is clear that blockchain is still in the development stage. Handling large volumes of data, as well as app and device development for users all, remain ongoing, yet the potential is vast. 

As soon as patients realize that privacy, security, and cost can all improve, it is likely that speed and demand for emerging markets will grow. 



Image by Camilo Jiminez via Unsplash


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