Odds are that by this point, you've at least heard the term 'blockchain' used; but what exactly is it, how can it be implemented into various industries, and how can it become a staple in healthcare management?
Moore’s Law states that the processing power and capabilities of computers double every two years. This demonstrates that in technology and business, companies must always be aware of
new competition and emerging technology that could render them obsolete. In consideration of this, digital businesses who exchange information online must develop innovative ways to increase speed and user experience. Perhaps for this reason, there is a growing corporate appetite for value exchanging platforms called “blockchain technology”. Blockchain technology refers to a “distributed ledger of transactions maintained by a peer-to-peer network,” that eventually will connect with programmable platforms and support diverse forms of value exchange.
Blockchains are essentially digital ledgers in which transaction data are clumped into groups that are represented as 1MB “blocks” and build upon the last block. This chain is a method that secures online digital transactions through a network of different computers (i.e. nodes) so that the transactions cannot be changed retroactively. This growing call for a decentralization of information and data storage is an emerging trend that we will see more frequently in the coming years. So what does this all mean for healthcare?
A blockchain powered health exchange could unlock droves of value in hospital data storage. They have the potential to vastly reduce the friction, costs, and latency of current intermediaries. Person Health Records and patient data are very confidential information and is highly sought after by various parties. Protecting this information is a continuous struggle for the Health Information Exchange (HIE).
The following chart, created by Deloitte Consulting, explains some of the common pain points that need to be addressed with the HIE and where implementing blockchain technology could be a potential solution.