Health Information Exchange is another time-consuming and complicated process that leads to high healthcare cost.
According to 2016 Breach Barometer Report, 450 breach incidents occurred but information was only available for 380 breach incidents and, the breaches resulted in 27,314,647 affected patient records. Could decentralization solve the data security issues in healthcare? Is it possible to save data securely on the blockchain?
IBM’s Institute for Business Value Blockchain interviewed 200 healthcare executives and found 16% of them are willing to deploy a commercial blockchain solution.
Though healthcare centers are adopting digital technologies, the patient’s medical records are currently stored in the centralized servers. It creates the attack surface for hackers. Accenture’s survey claims one in five employees working in the healthcare is willing to sell the sensitive medical data to the unauthorized parties.
Electronic health records(EHR) contain exploitable information like name, address, place where you work, prescribed medicines, number of doctor visits and payment methods. A Medical record also contains sensitive protected health information like HIV diagnoses, cancer diagnoses, or psychological conditions.
A person’s identity can be replaced by a hash, an unique numerical value. Replacing the user’s identity with a hash would make it impossible for the attacker to decode the identity and protected health information (PHI). De-identifying the data will remove details including the patient’s name, address, social security number and financial information.
Add further information related to the timestamp, demographics, involved stakeholders, and eventually sign and provision the data to be stored on the blockchain.
The completion of the above steps adds value to the data to be stored on the blockchain.
We shall now discuss how health records can be stored on the blockchain. Even more on Healthcare blockchain, Healthcare units can directly query the blockchain: Unlike the traditional process, doctors or health insurance companies don’t need to approach a patient for accessing their health records. Healthcare institutes can submit their queries via APIs and access the patient’s non-identifiable information through smart contracts.
A blockchain can either be a public or a private blockchain. Since an user identity will not be visible in this solution, a public blockchain could also be used.
Once the data is stored, it can be consumed by different healthcare blockchain vendors using smart contracts.
Smart contracts will ensure a transparent, conflict-free exchange of the information. In case, the user denies to exchange the information; no one could access the patient’s health records.
Blockchain healthcare solution could also enable healthcare research companies to use health records for research purposes without affecting the patient’s privacy. Read further to understand how
Data Mining and AI in Healthcare Blockchain
But the centralized approach for maintaining the data could hinder the patient’s privacy. Blockchain could be leveraged to bring trust in the clinical trials and medical research process.
As discussed above, the blockchain healthcare platform could use de-identification for hiding the patient’s identity. So, medical research companies could utilize the non-identifiable records to carry out the research activities.
Here’s what benefits could Blockchain bring to the Healthcare Industry
The inability to exchange healthcare records could lead to delays in treatment. But blockchain could alleviate this problem by decentralizing the data. Everyone within the healthcare network could access a transparent, yet immutable ledger while having the ownership of data.