Blockchain Technology Improving Medical Records
With the recent advancements in the latest implemented blockchain technology (Blockchain 2.0), we’re seeing a huge adoption of that technology within the medical industry, specifically in regards to medical record keeping.
With so many appealing prospects of blockchain technology grabbing the attention of the healthcare sector, it’s no surprise it’s being inducted not only for medical record management, but also for insurance claim processing, accelerated clinical and biomedical research, and advanced biomedical and healthcare data ledgers.
And why shouldn’t it be? With the core function of this technology based on decentralized management, immutable audit trail, data provenance, robustness, and improved security and privacy, it’s the perfect fit for such a robust industry, prime for hacking, and mismanagement of patient data.
The controversial notion that medical data should be possessed, operated, and allowed to be utilized by data subjects (aka patients), other than hospitals, is a key concept of patient-centered interoperability that differs from conventional institution-driven interoperability. In other words, hospitals shouldn’t get sole access to a patient’s data, when a patient never has access to their own medical data in real-time.
Although, as expected, with any user-driven data management, the liability is then left to the user. And if the user isn’t versed in best-practice security protocols, that liability can get expensive. Of course there are many challenges arising from patient-centered interoperability, such as data standards, security and privacy, in addition to technology-related issues, such as scalability and speed, incentives, and governance, the fact of the matter is the pros far outweigh the cons when implementing blockchain technology in this manner.
Blurring Boundaries For Patient Data Access
Another key element of blockchain technology is that it can facilitate the transition from institution-driven interoperability to patient-centered interoperability, allowing for patients to assign access rules for their medical data to whom they see fit, e.g. permitting specific researchers & data analysts to gain access to their secured data for a limited time and scope. Not only that, but patients can also connect to other hospitals, and collect their medical data automatically, and unrestrained.
Of course, like any & all technological innovations, we can anticipate to see some initial resistance to the widespread adoption of such technology.
So what’re your thoughts? Would you like to see blockchain technology applied to the medical industry? Do you see it as a needed benefit? Or do you see it as an unnecessary, convoluted gimmick? Share your thoughts in the comments below.