Cryptocurrency is a revolutionary innovation that is expected to change the financial sector in the nearest future. Apart from the financial sector, it has been linked with a lot of other fields that implicates and somehow involves the flow of money. One thing that the innovative technology brought to being is the trustless platform in which the generation processes and the transaction histories are very transparent, eliminating the need for a third party. And on a broader scale, the platform on which this technology runs –Blockchain- is perhaps a solution to a lot of data transfer problems that we are faced with today, particularly in the healthcare sector.
It has been proven overtime that the involvement of a third party body in the health sector is a huge financial constraint that the healthcare sector has been made to shoulder. The elimination of these third parties will not just reduce these financial constraints; it will lead to a system in which data in their volumes can be handled without the need for privacy and security issues. It is on this basis that I say that blockchain; under the auspices of cryptocurrencies is a great way to improve the efficiency of the healthcare sector, and at the same time reducing the cost of healthcare.
In the year 2017, IBM did a study which showed that a chunk of healthcare executives (16percent) had plans of implementing blockchain technologies by the end of 2017. 56percent of the remaining executives were also planning on implementing the same technology by 2020.carried out a study which showed that approximately 16% of healthcare executives were planning to implement blockchain solutions already by year end. Another 56% were planning to do it by 2020. It’s 2019 and the enthusiasm has is still very much in the air as we have seen cryptocurrency projects that are geared towards making the healthcare sector better, either through the management of data, provision of healthcare aids and even the shipping of drugs and vaccines.
The Promise of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Quite alright, the blockchain technology is mostly associated with cryptocurrency. But its use has gone beyond just cryptocurrencies as a number of industries have started to explore the prospects of this technology, with implementations already in place. The basis of this exploration is hinged on the fact that data in Blockchain are stored blocks that can’t be tampered with without due permission. The promise that this brings to the healthcare sector is clear. But below are few of the promises;
Traceable Patient Records
If the records of patients are record and stored with constant updates in a system built on the blockchain platform, they become secured and unalterable. This means that a patient can simply grant access to any healthcare provider to access and modify these records, creating long health history of the patient in the process. The current system in which this is done is the transfer of medical data from one healthcare centre to another. And then there is the problem of breaches in database where most of these records can either be lost or altered
2. Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud is rampant in the healthcare sector. This happens mostly when patients and healthcare providers falsify information to support their claims to receive payable benefits. This results in the billing for services that were never performed and sometimes, there is the falsification of patients’ medical conditions to justify tests. All of these practices lead to the increase in cost of providing basic healthcare to people. Blockchain promises to solve this issue as it will bring about a drastic reduction of fraud as the information provided by patients is stored in a decentralized system. This means that anybody with the right permission can access medical records.
3. Pharmaceutical Theft and Fraud
Pharmaceutical companies since time memorial have been faced with problems of fraud and theft. Most of these anomalies happens in the process of movement of drugs and vaccines from the manufacturer’s to the consumer’s end. The implementation of blockchain will ensure a full record of the movement of pharmaceutical products. Blocking the loopholes involved in the process. This is as demonstrated VeChain who is using blockchain technology to track vaccines and drugs that goes out of China. According to experts, implementing blockchain will not only reduce theft and fraud, it will reduce the issue of drug counterfeits.