Blockchain is a system that records information, and the system has a talent for preventing hacking, cheating, and changing. You can think that blockchain is a digital notebook including duplicated and distributed transactions. As you can understand from the name of the technology, there are blocks on a chain, and each block consists of transactions in a specific number. If a new transaction happens on a blockchain, the record of the transaction is recorded on the participants’ digital notebook.
We utilize various blockchain systems for selling and buying NFTs. For instance, we as NFT Horizon are using WAX blockchain system to sell our NFTs that are based on Greco-Roman mythology. In addition to WAX blockchain, Bitcoin is another example of blockchain systems. Most people think that blockchain systems are used in only financial industry, but it is a common misconception! With the recent technological innovation, blockchain technology penetrated all sides of our lives. In other words, blockchain technology is utilized in almost every field, and healthcare sector is one of the fields. In this article, we would like to share the relationship between blockchain technology and healthcare sector.
The number of projects and platforms about blockchain technology is increased since 2013, and we feel the power of the technology easily nowadays. The situation is that because blockchain technology finds lots of solutions to the daily problems in financial industry and other sectors. In healthcare sector, the extent of blockchain technology is huge. The startups of blockchain technology started later in healthcare sector than in other fields, but they grew significantly in 2016 and 2017.
During COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of solutions are found for fighting coronavirus by using blockchain technology. For example, a Canadian blockchain company called VitalHub used a blockchain-based COVID-19 electronic scanning tool. In addition, many certificate verification and supply-chain monitoring solutions were announced. As you can understand, blockchain technology has an important role to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, we can think that blockchain technology can rush to help if there will be another pandemic or significant medical situation.
What about other benefits of blockchain technology in healthcare sector? Firstly, we want to mention the electronic medical records of patients. In healthcare sector, the biggest problem is recording patients’ health records because recording medical information is expensive and difficult. Lots of electronic healthcare systems are found, and each system works in a different way, so the data of patients are distributed to different systems. Hence, doctors and other workers in healthcare system have difficulty reaching the whole medical history of one patient because of the situation. However, the situation can be solved by blockchain technology. For creating the integrity of whole medical records, blockchain technology can be used. If the data of one patient are transferred to a blockchain system, these data can stay in the system forever. Therefore, doctors and nurses can reach the correct medical history and past treatments of one patient easily. For the benefit, MTBC as a medical-based company applied a blockchain network holding references to medical records. In addition to doctors and other workers in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies can access the data of one patient on a blockchain system to prepare patient-specific drugs.
We mentioned electronic medical records, but what about the pharmaceutical supply chain? According to the report of Stanford Graduate School of Business, pharmaceutical supply chain is the most used blockchain application in healthcare industry. The safe transport of drugs and vaccines from the manufacturer to the end-user is a worldwide concern. Also, some drugs and vaccines must be preserved with specific temperature ranges, and there can be some errors about the functions of the drugs and vaccines due to the temperature ranges when drugs and vaccines are transported. Blockchain technology can solve the transportation problem by the capability of real-time tracking, and pharmaceutical companies can discard the drugs and vaccines which are no longer acceptable. Moreover, blockchain technology can help fake drug identification and make pharmaceutical supply chain more secure.
To summary, blockchain applications can offer lots of advantages in healthcare sector, like security, real-time tracking, and transparency. However, the large-scale implementation of blockchain applications in healthcare industry will not be easy. Hence, we should wait to get used to blockchain technology.