Users can only
update the blocks they have access to personally, which are then replicated
throughout the network. Without going into deep detail about the difference
between private and public blockchains, it is worth exploring how this
technology is poised to fundamentally change healthcare.
In the healthcare
sector, blockchain could be incredibly useful in managing and archiving the
most diverse medical records. Clinical files, invoices, research and diagnostic
test results have saturated the professionals in the field and the systems they
use. The implementation of a solution such as blockchain technology could
therefore be an orderly and easy-to-manage one. For this reason, many
enterprises are seriously considering the application of these principles in
order to improve various aspects of their work. Potential improvements include
- Traceability of Medicines: Every
transaction between pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers, pharmacists and
patients could be traced, so as to verify important product information, detect
counterfeit medicines and ensure that patients actually receive the medicines
they are prescribed.
- Use of Smart Contracts: The creation of
a specific documentation would also make it possible to share, anonymously and
in respect of privacy, the data of some patients within specific healthcare
- Secure Clinical Trials: More secure
systems, powered by blockchain-based immutability, would ensure that data from
clinical trials could not be altered and modified fraudulently.
- More Medical Accuracy: The transparency
of blockchain systems and accompanying ease of collaboration between patients,
researchers and physicians could improve data exchange and comparison, leading
to specific and personalized care pathways.
- Enhanced Genomic Research: Access to
protected genetic data within a blockchain system would be very useful for
physicians and medical researchers.
- Better Management of Insurance and Billing
Practices: Blockchains would not only help to effectively manage one of the
most complex areas of bureaucracy and documentation but also help to prevent
- Better Use of Health Records: In a
blockchain-based system, the management of medical records would be carried out
following authentication, which would provide the opportunity to share patient
and treatment information and notes in complete safety.
- Improved Cybersecurity: Each hash in a
healthcare blockchain system could be characterized by special permissions,
specific for physicians, patients, nurses or other users and associated
devices, so that access is allowed only to those who have proper permission.
These are just a
few examples of possible blockchain technology applications in the healthcare sector. Considering the countless possibilities and their
undeniable potential, what separates us from the widespread implementation of
blockchains in healthcare?
We must not
forget that we are still talking about a very recent technology: While bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies have existed for several years, their boom and entry
into the collective imagination remains fairly new. The technology behind these
assets is still unknown to most, and being able to convince the public that the
principles behind Bitcoin are applicable to the medical field is not an easy
There is still a
long way to go, and it will be necessary to have an innovative spirit that is
not indifferent to the various professionals involved. In the meantime, there
will be the chance to refine blockchain systems before deploying them in the
management of such a complex and sensitive sector as that of healthcare.