A few years back, people were busy learning about bitcoins. But the business leaders and technologists focused on bitcoin’s technology endoskeleton, blockchain, and the potential of blockchain services.
While many businesses have already started using blockchain to improve their work, others are still looking for more applications. Blockchain solutions have much to offer in healthcare and life sciences department.
Blockchain has the potential to change the world as we know it. The new technology has already positively affected several businesses. However, it still has much potential in the life sciences and healthcare departments.
The various life sciences companies and healthcare departments can use the technology to add and share information securely.
What is Blockchain?
Many people already know of cryptocurrency, but details of blockchain services or even the definition are unclear to many. In the most basic sense, a blockchain is a list of linked digital records available on a distributed ledger.
The distributed ledger permanently stores updates using the consensus of people who share the ledger. To simplify, over 50% of the distributed ledger holders must agree to the transaction to make a new entry. However, ledger rules can also change depending on the blockchain system you use.
How will Blockchain Solutions affect life sciences and health care in the future?
Life Sciences and Healthcare industries are interdependent entities that work with each other. Life sciences focus on the study of living organisms. Healthcare mainly focuses on medical care for people and other living beings.
Both these industries need to work together for better real-life applications of the products. The use of blockchain services can help improve the overall collaboration, trust, traceability, and auditability of the various functions.
The primary use of the blockchain as a service includes data storage. It will change how companies store, share and utilize data.
Some of the common uses of the Blockchain services in the healthcare industry will include:
Patients’ data storage
Blockchain allows users to add relevant information to patients’ records. It is the ideal way to add patient details. Also, the fact that no one can change the previous entries means appropriate record keeping.
As blockchain services do not rely on a central server, the chances of losing data will reduce significantly. Moreover, the protocols of the data storage method on the blockchain can help ensure all the data is accurate for future use. And most importantly, the blockchain method of data storage will secure the information from external threats, like fraud and hacking attacks.
Sharing Data among patient’s providers
Patients’ providers need information about medical records to give proper care. With blockchain technology, it is possible to share all the relevant information under one forum without any duplicacy. Moreover, the various providers can easily access the information to provide appropriate care.
The secure online records without repetition reduce the provider’s efforts while ensuring the best services for the patient.
Contracts negotiations among life sciences companies and healthcare providers
Healthcare providers and Life Sciences companies require thorough contract negotiations to meet all the legal requirements and manage ownership of findings. Hence, both industries can rely on blockchain for secure and immutable contracts that ensure proper agreements.
Cooperation Between Healthcare Providers and Insurers
Moreover, other pharma-related organizations, like healthcare insurance, can also use the technology to make the claim process faster and more effective. It will allow the information to flow freely, allowing for faster results.
The application of blockchain as a service in the healthcare industry is still in the early stages, but implementation is underway. In the coming times, it is evident that the blockchain service will change how patients experience healthcare worldwide.
The use of blockchain in the life sciences industry has the potential to enhance the following functions:
Drug development is a lengthy task that comes with several trials and errors. With blockchain, it is possible to provenance and tracks the compounds.
It can help with FDA. Moreover, when it comes to sharing information about drug development, blockchain can offer a more secure avenue that companies can use to share information.
Supply Chain Management
Moreover, it can also provide immutable batch records of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the manufacturing process. Moreover, in case of adverse events, it can help drug batch recall. Currently, supply chain tracking is fragmented.
Hence, there is room for human errors and fraud. The use of blockchain will make the supply chain more trackable and readily available.
Clinical Trials Management
Clinical trials are an essential part of the life sciences. With blockchain technology, it will become easier to manage the complex processes added to the trial design, implementation, and management.
A clinical trial has several stakeholders. Few of the stakeholders are clinical investigators, patients/study subjects, other healthcare professionals, and governmental regulatory bodies.
Medical information needs to remain secure and private as per the law. And the trial protocols should meet the conditions while offering relevant information. Moreover, there should be secure communication between the various stakeholders from various professions and several clinical trial sites. But communication can compromise the protected health information.
Here, using blockchain can help. Blockchain services offer the perfect technology to allow the records’ scalability, traceability, and immutability, along with varied access permissive levels.
Blockchain also has the potential to impact patient-centric activities. The use cases in the application will vary, including the use of ‘smart contracts’ for patient consent, ownership management of health data, prescription medication management, and more.
Blockchain services have seen the highest use in patient-centric usage as early collaborations continue. One of the major uses of the application is to keep track of the patient consent to use health data.
The Life Sciences industry is already hiring blockchain service providers to help improve their functioning in several departments. Their vision is coming to life with recent changes, but there is still time to realize the full potential of blockchain solutions in the industry.
Blockchain in Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
Currently, the use of blockchain in the industry is still at the infancy level. But, more than 1/3 of the industry is looking to deploy blockchain in the companies.
Blockchain has provisions to help handle identity better in several electronic health records and other areas. Companies can avoid duplicative records with the system.
The use of blockchain will allow for a single, thorough, and longitudinal patient record for every person. Then, it could be accessed by various users, including patients, doctors, insurers, and researchers, without compromising the privacy and security of the individual.
Blockchain services by various industry leaders can take the healthcare and life sciences industry to other heights in the coming years. We will come to know of its full potential and effects in some time, but it sure does have several foreseeable benefits for the people. Hence, the big and smaller companies in the industry need to incorporate technology today.
Innovation makes and breaks companies, especially in the healthcare department. Investing in advancements in record-keeping today will help businesses stay relevant in the long run.