Blockchain and health, there are now several cases of use of this cutting-edge technology in medicine. However, its use is hampered by a number of drawbacks.
Blockchain and health are not compatible at first sight. However, this technology can still be used to solve many health problems. Indeed, the importance of blockchain in trade and investment is recognized. It also allows you to to secure They transactions various. In this file, we will focus on his participation in improving health in general. We will therefore cite the cases of use of the blockchain in the health sector, and we will specify to what extent it constitutes a lever / brake on health.
How useful is blockchain in the healthcare sector?
There is nothing more secure than blockchain technology. A single manipulation of the data generates a block that records all information related to the manipulation. What makes the to track easier than ever. This technology is also essential to protect patients, among other things.
In fact, the storage, sharing and verification of data are increasingly difficult. Accessing patient medical records is more difficult for doctors than for hackers. Furthermore, the counterfeit conquers the pharmaceutical industry without being able to trace its origin. All of this hinders data management.
This technology was introduced to remedy this. In particular, it allows you to manage data relating to care by adopting the cryptography. Furthermore, the blockchain also accesses the security of data and transactions in this area such as the financing of clinical studies and various researches. The use of the blockchain is estimated to increase significantly in a few years (up to $ 55.86 billion in 2026).
Blockchain healthcare use cases
Applications of blockchain technology are steadily increasing in the healthcare sector. We will limit ourselves to giving 5, including supply, accreditation, data security, payment and health insurance.
Blockchain technology and healthcare supply
In the United States, the DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration registered over 9.5 million counterfeit drugs in 2021. A total that has already decreased compared to previous years. This reflects the influx of counterfeiting into the pharmaceutical industry. This abundance is even greater in developing countries (1% in developed countries versus 10% in developing countries).
Blockchain is one of the best ways to solve this problem. In fact, it allows the traceability of all products, from their manufacture to their shipment. To do this, a source register is created for each drug And medical device. The register can also integrate other details such as various costs and waste caused by manufacturing.
Blockpharma is one of the solutions used for this purpose. Based in Paris, Blockpharma operates by scanning the drug supply chain, for now on medical prescription. This allows you to record a lot of information including the manufacturer and expiration date, among others. It is the source of numerous seizures of counterfeit medicines around the world (up to 15%).
In medical accreditation
Counterfeiting of drugs and medical devices is not the only problem in the healthcare sector. Accreditation can also suffer from this problem, especially since the verify various skills and titles remains a tedious process. It can take months and millions to get the information you need.
With blockchain technology, we are sure to get information reliable, updated and in real time. This gives healthcare professionals the opportunity to verify the truthfulness of the information provided. The blockchain therefore allows you to verify both the identity of the healthcare professional and his skills. The process of recruitment it is therefore transparent and fast; one less concern for healthcare organizations and patients.
The start of accreditation ArchiveCore offers the possibility to verify accreditation documents when it comes to primary sources. The two founders aimed to shorten the background check process for new hires in a healthcare organization. This is to minimize hiring costs.
The blockchain to protect patient records
The data leaks cause significant losses in several sectors. Health is not excluded. In recent years, many patients have found themselves deprived of their medical information. Such losses occur in particular during trading.
Blockchain technology provides a solution by offering a overview medical records e management shared data. The French government, for example, has set up Health Data Hub for this purpose. This way, patients stay informed of everything about their files, be it a search or any result. It is therefore up to them to carry out and control the sharing, in whole or in part, of their data with their doctors or with their insurer.
Medical chain is software that provides electronic health records to suppliers. This tool is also used for other purposes such as virtual consultations and data sales.
To develop and finance clinical trials
Progress in health cannot be achieved without resorting to clinical trials. However, a single clinical study involves a significant number of participants. We can name investors, doctors, drug and health device manufacturers, as well as study subjects. In this long process, themistake it is inevitable, just like the intentional misconduct.
By integrating blockchain technology, the process becomes more transparent, thus blocking any attempt at tampering. In addition, the evidence will be marked with the date and time and the related documents archived with maximum security.
However, blockchain greatly contributes to the development of the healthcare sector by facilitating the way financing of these clinical trials. In this way, investors can disburse funds directly, without intermediaries. It is the same during the reward instead of the interested ones immediately after their success.
The blockchain and the smart contract
The health insurance sector is also subject to many cases of rejection. If the non-compliance with contractual conditions reaches 10% of the refusals, the information problem amounts to 17%. The blockchain makes it possible to remedy this health insurance problem through the smart contract.
A smart contract is presented by a coded on a blockchain destined for automatic run once the required conditions are met. This technique eliminates intermediaries by minimizing the costs generated by setting up the files. For this, all patient information must be registered in the blockchain registry.
Blockchain and health: pros and cons
In view of these different application cases, blockchain offers many benefits to the healthcare sector. However, it is not without drawbacks.
Health benefits of the blockchain
The health benefits of blockchain are manifold. First, it facilitates the decision-making process of the medical profession by providing information in real time. Blockchain is also an effective way to to secure the organization of medical data. Avoid any form of falsification as well as access the speed of medical accreditation.
Furthermore, blockchain technology helps patients in several ways, for exampleappropriation of their medical data and the secure storage of such data on mobile devices. Patients can then freely collect their own health data. They can also participate in the search for financing without intermediaries via cryptographic currency.
As for the pharmaceutical industry, blockchain is an effective weapon for trace and the detection of counterfeit drugs that harm health. It also improves the recruitment of patients who meet the criteria needed for clinical trials. In addition, this technology allows you to keep files related to clinical studies, documentation, results, etc.
Blockchain also deals with health insurance as it activates the management of agreements between insurer and policyholder. We are talking about smart contract. Blockchain is also an effective tool for getting confirmation in a timely manner.
Disadvantages of the Blockchain
Despite these multiple advantages, the blockchain is not flawless. We have noticed some disadvantages that reside in particular at the level of the number of blocks created. First, the blockchain is at the origin of the delays because the transaction time increases proportionally to the number of blocks. This delays some actions (clinical trials, payments, etc.).
Secondly, we are not aware that this technology does not allow the permanent deletion of information. Instead, it creates more and more blocks to invalidate information that already exists. Additionally, there is a great deal of difficulty in managing data once a patient’s records are in place bulky. This is, for example, the case during an MRI exam.
Finally, the blockchain leads to costs high in planning. The same goes for maintenance and development. However, these flaws haven’t stopped blockchain technology from shedding light on the healthcare industry. Today it is widely used on several levels.