Blockchain technology has the capacity to complete the way healthcare institutes and organizations work. Blockchain places the patient right at the center of this industry in many ways, including the security and privacy of patient health data and traceability of drugs, This new approach using the new blockchain innovation can make all electronic records safer, secure and more efficient, while protecting customers from the issue of drug forging and also assisting with clinical trials and other research.
Let us take a look below at how blockchain is set to transform these areas of healthcare.
Drug forging is considered one of the most rising problems faced by the healthcare industry. According to HRFO, Health Research Funding Organization, 10-30% of medications in India and other developing countries are forgeries. This growing issue could mean that pharmacy companies across the world could be losing billions of dollars a year.
Health experts believe such operations have only scratched the surface of a flourishing industry in counterfeit medicines that poses a growing threat to public health around the world.
The main risk is not the medicine fraud but the impact it will have on the patients who take those medications. These forged drugs provide patients with different outcomes as compared to the drugs they should be taking. One of the most important and worrying aspects of this kind of drug forgeries is that counterfeit drugs may worsen or complicate existing conditions.
The way Blockchain can help in this situation, is its ability to store all the drug transactions into its system. With transparency and the fact, the blockchain prevents such transactions being tampered with, it ensures there is no possibility for forgeries.
Blockchains’ main feature is its ability to prevent change to any data. So, adding drugs to data which have been forged, will be practically impossible to achieve.
Private or public Blockchains can be used which can also assist in security, as if private blockchain technology is used, the movement of the drug from the lab to the patients is strictly measured.
“Pharmacy companies across the world could be losing billions of dollars a year.”
Patient data security
In all Healthcare institutes and organizations, it is vital that patient health information meets the minimum criteria of security, integrity, and privacy.
One of the main challenges to overcome is how the patient data will be secured when they have to share it with third parties such as physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies.
The Blockchain system has a unique identifier for each block that contains PHI (protected health information), coupled with an individual patient identification number. With the help of application programming interfaces of blockchain technology, only pre-authorized personnel will have to access to the required data without covering the patient’s identity.
“In all Healthcare institutes and organizations, it is vital that patient health information meets the minimum criteria of security, integrity, and privacy.”
Data Security in Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are an important process in deciding how effective some specific solutions are, that have the capacity to cure critical diseases. These kinds of trials such as clinical research and testing, along with Hypothesis testing, uses huge amounts of data. This data concerns research, data collection, reporting, findings, and analysis.
Scientists are fully responsible for this type of study so using current or more traditional methods of data recording, there is no way of determining if there have been any unauthorized modifications or even a leak of important new research in terms of its data. Anything happening to data of this nature could seriously damage the integrity of the scientists, along with the potential for any research efforts and research to be altered.
Using the blockchain system, users are able to reveal how legitimate the record is and scientists are about to be given proof and verification that such records are indeed valid and have not been damaged or changed by any unauthorized person.
Disclaimer: The author of this text, Robin Trehan, has an Undergraduate degree in economics, Masters in international business and finance and MBA in electronic business. Trehan is Senior VP at Deltec International www.deltecbank.com. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the author, and not necessarily reflecting the views of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries and/or employees.
About Deltec Bank
Headquartered in The Bahamas, Deltec is an independent financial services group that delivers bespoke solutions to meet clients’ unique needs. The Deltec group of companies includes Deltec Bank & Trust Limited, Deltec Fund Services Limited, and Deltec Investment Advisers Limited, Deltec Securities Ltd. and Long Cay Captive Management.