Is blockchain the future of our medical system? 5 points to understand

D-health – The European Blockchain Observatory published a sixty-six-page report titled Blockchain applications in the healthcare sector. The authors of this paper believe that blockchain could help the healthcare sector make the revolution Health 4.0. The latter is based on fundamental principles, such as interoperability, digitization, decentralization, etc. This foundation would be compatible with the possibilities offered by the blockchain.

Blockchain and health: for better knowledge management

Blockchain would allow the healthcare sector to address concerns about the need for a system:

  • flexible and digitalized knowledge and data management;
  • easy and easy to use for patients to access their health data;
  • allowing the decompartimentation of data stored in current instruments.

Such a device would therefore respond to the growing complexity of healthcare. Indeed, these must be based on an adequate knowledge management tool.

Blockchain also presents itself as a technology capable of adequately organizing, global exchange of information in health care. In this way, it could solve some problems concerning collective learning in the sector.

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Decentralize for better follow-up in healthcare

Is centralization therefore necessarily harmful to the evolution of the health sector? The problem lies above all in the relative difficulties the establishment of an effective centralization. A blockchain would therefore be an alternative that would allow for example:

  • decentralized monitoring of the use of medical equipment by healthcare facilities;
  • identify shortages or surpluses of devices in different geographical locations.

Blockchain is also known to be a tool for improving the tracking of medical products. The target. the goal? In particular, fight against dangerous counterfeits for public health:

“Using blockchains as a ledger to record provenance, vaccines and other life-saving medicines could be tracked and traced from their origin to their current location, reducing errors in drug placement or labeling and the risk of counterfeiting. “

On-chain and off-chain: a synergy to be found for the storage of health data

However, the blockchain would have disadvantages in terms of data storage. The transparency and immutability of the data recorded on a blockchain would therefore be incompatible with the necessary confidentiality of patient data.

However, the report’s authors mention the possibility of combine blockchain with an off-chain solution to comply with the legal obligations on the conservation of this data:

“To comply with the GDPR, products can use blockchains on a level above databases: it would therefore be possible to monitor data exchange transactions and access information, while all personal health information is stored off-blockchain.”

The prospects for using blockchain in the healthcare sector are not recent. Some companies have embarked on this path of healthcare decentralization since 2018. In concrete terms, have we made enough progress since then?

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