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Is blockchain the solution for failing global healthcare?

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Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Tamaki Makaurau – Global healthcare systems are under extreme stress but blockchain technology could create an efficient, transparent, safe and effective way of communicating data across global healthcare.

Blockchain technology can also support healthcare development, save money and support further investment into essential resources.

The global healthcare system has been deteriorating for what feels like decades. With bed shortages, long waiting lists, increasing costs and global pandemics, the state of the global healthcare system has never been more challenging for healthcare providers, practitioners or patients.

According to Deloitte’s 2022 global health care outlook, the industry is at breaking point. The covid pandemic has exhausted healthcare workers, overwhelmed institutions, disproportionately affected and further marginalised large sections of the population and decreased access and demand for non-covid-related medical care.

In short, the pandemic has exacerbated an already broken healthcare industry, hampered by decades of inefficiency, funding cuts, failed reformation and over-centralisation. But this can be fixed.

To ensure that the global healthcare system does not completely fail, drastic measures must be taken. The introduction of blockchain technology will allow for a decentralised and distributed environment that ultimately serves and protects all, as any good healthcare system should, the World Economic Forum says.

Blockchain technology is massively under-utilised in healthcare. It can ensure an efficient, transparent, safe and effective way of communicating data and information for all parties in the healthcare industry.

Through tokenisation and the use of smart contracts, it offers the opportunity to reduce or remove the process of pre-authorisation in the healthcare sector.

Blockchain-based solutions for health documentation offer secure encryption techniques that safeguard the integrity of individuals’ information when communicating with different parties.

Through tokenisation, smart contracts and the encryption techniques that are involved in blockchain network transactions, the process of pre-authorisation will be reduced massively, enabling patients to receive the necessary and informed care more efficiently.

This is a result of the healthcare provider being able to access the relevant information quickly, when they would have previously been depending on the patient or on files physically mailed or emailed from disparate sources, such as local physicians, labs, etc.

Not only can tokenisation facilitate more efficient interaction and communication between healthcare providers and insurance companies, but it can also support and improve the communication between the patient and healthcare provider.

Bringing a decentralised platform into the global healthcare system will bring different benefits to the patient. For one, it will allow for medical records to be owned by the patient, rather than the healthcare provider.

Decentralisation will also allow for healthcare to become more accessible to all, as it will remove the shackles and allow for patients to provide their medical records to any practitioner, anywhere in the world.

With blockchain-based medical records, prescription data can be updated in real-time by any provider, streamlining the information flow and reducing the risk of errors and contraindications between drugs.