Blockchain is the buzzword of the year, and
as this new technology slowly matures, it seems clear that from banking to supply chain
logistics, it is ready for disruption. And in healthcare in particular, there’s
a massive opportunity for the blockchain revolution to disrupt and lead a digital transformation. From medical records to pharmaceutical supply
chains, to smart contracts for payment distribution, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage
this technology. Here are the three ways, how blockchain will
change healthcare as we know it. 1.) Health Records Electronic medical records are the backbone
of every modern healthcare system. But your medical records grow longer and become
more complex with each visit to your doctor. And since every hospital an d every doctor’s
office has a different way of storing them, it’s not always easy for healthcare providers
to obtain them. There are already some companies out there,
like Patientory, Medibloc or Medicalchain that aim to solve this problem. The goal is to give patients authority over
their entire medical history and to provide a one-stop access to it for patients and physicians
as well. Blockchain would not only simplify and make
access more efficient, but inherently bring data security to the field as well. 2.) Supply Chains The pharmaceutical industry has one of the
highest standards for product safety, security, and stability, it’s ripe for disruption. For example, supply chain management with
blockchain can be monitored securely and transparently. This can greatly reduce time delays and human
mistakes. It can also be used to monitor costs, labor,
and even waste in emissions at every point in the supply chain. It can also be used to verify the authenticity
of products by tracking them from their origin, combating the counterfeit drug market that
costs 200 billion dollars in losses to the market annually. Companies like Chronicled, Blockpharma and
Modum are already working towards more efficient blockchain logistic solutions. Modum in particular works in compliance with
EU laws that require proof that medicinal products have not been exposed to particular
conditions, especially certain temperatures, which may comprise their quality. Modum’s solution was to develop a sensor
that records environmental conditions while physical products are in transit and permanently
record it on the blockchain. 3.) Genomic Market Companies like EncrypGen and Nebula Genomics
are building blockchain platforms to enable people to share genomic data safely and securely
on a new emerging market. They bet that in the future, opportunities
around personal genome sequencing will create a data market worth billions of dollars. And what’s the best technology to solve
data security issues and to ensure that data gets from the source to its end-user without
any middlemen? You are right; it is the blockchain. These companies aim to use blockchain technology
to enhance genomic data protection, enable buyers to efficiently acquire genomic data
and address the challenges of genomic big data. These companies are just a few of the dozens
of startups that aim to use blockchain to disrupt healthcare. And as it usually is, their marketing is great,
they promise big, but the jury’s still out on which ones will remain only promises, and
which are the few that will become the next big thing.