The Healthcare scenario is in need of an upgradation considering the fact that the whole medical process is time-consuming and costly. Healthcare organizations hold fragmented records of patients and in case of medical emergencies doctors are inclined to run a series of fresh tests and there is no way for a hospital to retrieve information from another hospital. The problem is the lack of interoperability, meaning the medical and scientific communities do not have access to relevant data.
Blockchain has the power to revolutionize the Healthcare scenes. It is a system like a ledger that lists all the information about the patient’s medical history along with being public and accessible for doctors, pharmaceuticals, scientists and other related sources, with the constraint that the system only allows accessing data upon consent given by the patient.
How it works:
- Healthcare providers collect information from the patient.
- Data is stored in existing database in hospitals.
- A hash (unique output) is created from each source of data and is redirected to the blockchain.
- The patient decides who has access to his/her medical records.
- Healthcare stakeholders can query the blockchain to obtain access to the information.
To manage and create access to the information Smart Contract is used. These are contracts written as code into the Blockchain, which when triggered automatically executes itself. For instance, when a doctor asks for permission to access information and patient gives consent the contract automatically allows a doctor to see the results.
Blockchain and smart contracts provide two big advantages-
- The system is Patient-centered: the patient owns his medical records though cannot modify or delete it but can decide who can have access.
- Interoperability: The system acts as a catalogue, all records are stored and instead of having to do the entire test again the information can be accessed upon the patient’s consent.
Doctors write notes on scans and lab reports which are all recorded as transactions while patient rewards doctors to remotely review a medical case and provide advice or take a second opinion. The pharmacies dispense medications and also record the transaction on the blockchain. Patients give time-limited access to the insurers to monitor fitness program and are rewarded with tokens or reduced insurance premium. Patients are also rewarded giving research institution time-limited access to their health records for medical trial purposes.