Of the many many challenges the US. healthcare system is or isn’t working, it’s become abundantly clear not one is going
- frequent medical data breaches,
- counterfeit drug distribution,
- or forging of the results of the clinical trials.
Blockchain solutions can trigger positive changes in the industry and provide recurring opportunities for further domain development.
Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Use Cases
So, we are going to find out how blockchain technology can help handle each of the challenges mentioned above and which ready-made solutions already exist on the market.
Medical Data Breaches
In March 2019, the healthcare industry has faced a 14% increase in the volume of data breaches compared to the average rate of the last 6 months. This has led to an increase in the number of exposed health records.
A healthcare provider, Navicent Health, has reported that 278,016 of their medical records have been accessed via phishing. One more case has taken place at ZOLL Services LLC. Their network has been attacked which resulted in the exposure of 277,319 records.
PhrOS Records System
Phros is a healthcare records system introduced by Taipei Medical University in partnership with the Digital Treasury Corporation in 2017. To achieve higher transparency between medical institutions and increase data security, PhrOS leverages blockchain technology for securing medical data.
By using a mobile PhrOS app, doctors and patients can securely exchange data. For example, a patient can input the information about their current health condition, and the doctor will immediately see it in real time. This significantly improves doctor-patient interaction.
MedicalChain proves partnerships are a key stepping stone to broader adoption. One can not write about this topic without mentioning Medicalchain in cooperation with a private clinic chain Groves Medical Group is MyClinic. Similarly to PhrOS, MyClinic provides the opportunity for transparent doctor-patient interaction by using decentralized ledger technology (DLT).
The service aims to protect the process of transferring electronic healthcare records (EHRs) between patients and doctors. By using MyClinic, patients can securely send their data to the doctors and get real-time remote consultation for a smaller fee while there is no need to spend money on office rent and transportation.
Prescription fraud abuse
About 10% of all drugs in the world are fakes. This statistics mostly relates to such locations as Latin America, Europe, and Africa. More than a million people annually die because of these forged medications.
Moreover, it has been reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that the counterfeit drug area costs governments approximately $200 billion per year.
Blockchain technology can help eliminate the risk of forgery and, thus, save lots of people’s lives.
Data placed on blockchain can’t be altered in any way. This allows you to accurately trace every single phase of the drug delivery – from the producer’s storage to the consumer. For this, it is better to use private encryption keys which block all attempts of getting into the system for medication forgery.
SAP focused on counterfeit medicine
SAP has recently introduced its blockchain software for reducing counterfeit medicine. According to their product, drug makers have to note down the information about each drug item they produce on the ledger. They also have to transfer their XML messages through the SAP’s cloud so that they can occur on blockchain. This ensures that these messages will be accessible only to the supply chain participants, and no third parties could access them for forgery.
AsliMedicine is tracking drugs using blockchain technology
One more ready-made solution is AsliMedicine aimed at tracing drugs across the entire healthcare chain and detecting fakes. This solution assigns a specific coding model for every medicine. It may include a unique ID number, location of the manufacturing, name of the company, etc. All these details help track the item throughout the chain and identify counterfeit ones.
Blockchain Technology for Clinical Trials
The purpose of any clinical trial is to determine the effectiveness of a newly produced drug. A common process consists of three key stages. At the first stage, the medicine is distributed among the small group of volunteers; at the second one – among the bigger group; and at the last stage the medicine is provided for testing by the largest group.
This process is expensive and time-consuming. This is why many manufacturers can forge the trial results to be able to put the drug for sale faster.
Blockchain again comes to the rescue. To add new information to blockchain, the participant has first wait until the data about the tested drug placed in the previous blocks gets confirmed. Thus, the technology ensures the authenticity of the document which, in turn, confirms that the results of the trial are true.
BloqCube ensuring integrity for clinical trials
One of the ready-made solutions powered by blockchain in BloqCube. It facilitates clinical trials, aims to accelerate the entire process and ensures medical information integrity.