Blockchain technology, has indeed revolutionized the vision for the destiny of information and data. At the most rudimentary level, blockchain technology allows the decentralization of data; that is, it provides for the control of information to steer away from a centralized entity (for instance, an individual or organization) to a distributed network. By employing a distributed network to govern information, society can establish better transparency, faith, and fidelity in that data.
In an earlier whitepaper made public by the University of California Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, the researchers describe that “blockchain is particularly a distributed database of records or public ledger of complete transactions or digital occurrences that have been executed and shared among participating groups. The consensus of a majority of the participants in the system confirms each transaction in the public ledger. And, once joined, information can never be erased.” The most prevalent utilization of blockchain thus far has been the preeminent cryptocurrency Bitcoin, a decentralized rendition of digital currency.
Supporters of the technology postulate that blockchain will transform the world across all sectors, making data and information exchange more comfortable, more trustworthy, and more secure. Though some sectors endeavor to become early adopters of the technology, others are careful about how it can be utilized and are marching carefully.
In a indication late last year, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) examined the potential for blockchain in healthcare. The paper showed multiple potential case examples for its use, varying from supply chain transparency and securing admission to medical records to streamlining communication with insurance firms and enabling remote patient monitoring credentials even better.
Particularly concerning healthcare data, blockchain enthusiasts believe that the technology can deliver increased security and fidelity compared to current solutions, especially regarding healthcare data. An article printed by the World Economic Forum explains: “Blockchain-based resolutions for health documentation offer secured encryption techniques that safeguard the virtue of individuals’ information when communicating with additional parties. Through tokenization, smart contracts and the encryption methods that are involved in blockchain network dealings, the process of pre-authorisation will be reduced in an immense manner, enabling patients to receive the necessary and advised care more effectively. This is a result of the healthcare institution being able to access the appropriate information quickly, when they would have previously been relying on the patient or on the files physically mailed or electronically sent from various sources, such as local physicians, and labs, to name a few.”
But others are skeptical. For one, blockchain needs to be better understood by the assemblies, assembling skepticism and reluctance by many to concern the technology in something as critical as healthcare infrastructure. Likewise, use cases for blockchain, though increasing, still ought to be improved. The basis for the technology itself is expected, however. As explained by the HHS presentation, the most earlier forms of blockchain theory were presented in the 1980s, with iterations of modern technology more definitively taking form over the last two decades.
Healthcare information and data are long overdue for innovation, particularly in a world where cybersecurity uncertainity and data fidelity is constantly at issue. Undoubtedly, blockchain technology is likely here to stay; however, innovators, policy directors, and technology aficionados will have to devise ways to put this technology to use in healthcare in a safe, reliable, and patient-centric method.