In an increasingly interconnected world, in which users have come to expect a fast and consistent stream of information, new technologies are often embraced by society and industries almost as soon as they become available. However, the health care industry is falling behind in the adoption of new technologies, despite all available innovations and economical requirements.
Many key institutions acknowledge that stakeholders in the health care industry should play active roles in forming new infrastructures for the industry and its users, regardless of who they may be — government agencies, drug developers, hospitals administrators, nurses, doctors or patients.
The most efficient way to achieve interoperability would be to establish an open standard technology infrastructure for IT systems in health care. Industry best practices suggest using open API (Application Programming Interface) to address the problem. However, an open API on its own is not enough. This is where Blockchain enters the picture, as a shared distributed infrastructure that allows a unified view of an individual’s medical records across a lifetime in health IT systems.
Blockchain as a technology is good at addressing interoperability issues, is based on open standards, helps provide a bridge between institutions and is on its way to becoming widely accepted in many industries, including health care.
Use of the Blockchain in health care, as described in our current e-book “A Quick Guide to Blockchain in Healthcare,” has the potential to revolutionize the entire industry and bring many benefits with guaranteed privacy protection and top-notch security. Of course, there are still numerous obstacles on the way, such as vendor lock-in, the relative immaturity of the Blockchain technology, and the need for new concepts to deal with patient-controlled data.
One of the first applications could be for decentralized medical record management. Many countries have already invested in some type of Blockchain application in health care – first among them is the small country of Estonia with intentions of bringing all its electronic patient files to the Blockchain. Many others should follow.
Blockchain has secured its place in health IT; all that remains now is to see if it works on a large scale. If just one country successfully implements Blockchain in its health care system, that would be a green light for the rest of the industry, and mass adoption might follow.
To keep up with current market opportunities in e-health, visit https://intellicore.press/publications.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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