Healthcare industry is fragmented at both national and international level. Indeed each country has its own healthcare system. However, in almost all jurisdictions, there are both private and public entities operating in the industry and they prefer hiding patient information to themselves. In fact, some private hospitals do not grant free access to patients themselves.
What is the problem with this? We classify the problems under two main sub-groups:
- Efficiency: The current system is far from being efficient and it requires repetitions. If you are seeing a new doctor, you have to provide him/her with your medical history manually, which might not be accurate or even available. You might have to go through the same examinations at different hospitals over and over again, which is waste of time and resources. Or, you might be in another country, experiencing a health problem and in a need to explain your medical situation to a foreign doctor. In a more crucial scenario, you might not be conscious at all.
- Control on the information: In the current system the patient, individual hospitals are in control and patients do not have control on their own personal information. With the expectation of getting the medical assistance, people give their personal information without thinking on it. Hospitals gather too much personal information without being accountable for what they do with that information. Since patients sign almost everything put in front of them before medical examination, hospitals ‘obtain’ necessary permission for processing this information and benefit from it.
How does the Blockchain technology fit in?
As commonly cited, the Blockchain technology is a record-keeping method storing the data in append-only blocks on a distributed ledger using the cryptographic algorithms. There is no central authority in the world of Blockchain. The data is chosen and stored on the Blockchain by users in the network. You can find more information on the Blockchain technology here.
As explained above, the problem with the healthcare industry is fragmentation and control. and the Blockchain technology can provide solutions to this problems.