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Modern Healthcare: Will Blockchain Save the Healthcare System?

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Greater transparency and accuracy in managing patient data

A study performed by John Hopkins revealed that medical errors were the third largest cause of human deaths in the US, accounting for over 250,000 fatalities per annum. Some studies have claimed that this number could be much higher as well.

Blockchain would significantly reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis and erroneous data entry, effectively eliminating casualties due to medical errors. Furthermore, every entity in the healthcare ecosystem would be able to view clinical information. Patients can themselves own their entire medical history and see for themselves if they have been diagnosed correctly.

Faster diagnosis

Since complete patient information would be available for everyone in a blockchain, providers and AI-based EMR software would find it easy to detect a disease in its nascent stage. Faster clinical diagnosis saves time, resources, and money alongside relieving the patient of the undue agony.

Better resource management

Blockchain has the ability to record all forms of information. From drug ordering to drug administration, from patient diagnosis to progress notes, everything is stored on this highly complex network. Since everyone within the blockchain has open access to this knowledge base, they can make decisions to improve their resource allocation. For instance, if the providers in a certain county are persistently identifying cases of common flu, the pharmacists would ensure that they have the requisite drugs in stock.

Rewards and incentives for healthcare stakeholders

For a successful blockchain, it is pertinent that all healthcare stakeholders, such as patients, providers, labs, pharmacies, healthcare registries, hospitals and insurance companies, should participate and offer their share of information. For doing so, these entities can be rewarded. Special incentives can be given to patients who are taking good care of their medication and providers that have the least readmission rates. This will promote a healthy culture, where the sole focus of everyone would be to improve the health of the general public.

New avenues for researchers particularly genetic engineers

With complete genomic and medical information in one place, researchers would have a complete snapshot of the medical landscape. This will allow them to identify loopholes in the current protocols of patient care and safety. As for the genetic engineers, they would have access to complete family history, helping them to understand how genes function and what impact can it have on the upcoming generations. Blockchain will also help the genetic engineers in identifying patterns of genetic disorders and make recommendations to curb it.

Conclusion

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Alex Tate is a Health IT writer for various platforms. He provides perceptive, engaging and informative consultancy on industry wide topics. He knows that no single approach is the right one for every practice, and so shall advice according to the (more...)
 
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