Let’s face it: there’s not a lot of good news coming out of the healthcare industry. From Nigeria to New York City, from Sydney to Saskatchewan, there are some alarming trends that require innovative solutions.
Health records are a mess. Entire nations lack adequate medical supplies. Wait times are universally outrageous. Some doctors don’t know what the heck they’re doing.
And then there are the costs.
There’s no cure-all for these problems. Healthcare is inherently messy, and we have to accept some level of disappointment at its inefficiency. But we must also acknowledge those who are using new technologies like blockchain to sow the seeds of change.
Blockchain-powered solutions aren’t exactly ready to go, but mergers and investments in the space suggest that fragmented administrative processes could merge into a single blockchain-powered platform. Healthcare records are a necessary evil, but they’re horribly mismanaged and highly fragmented. Consolidating these records on a distributed ledger would provide easier, secure access for patients and caregivers.
Blockchain implementation in healthcare has been sluggish to put it mildly. But truly impactful change rarely happens overnight. And many of the negative trends in healthcare suggest that with proper time and financial investment, blockchain could fill some of the cracks in the industry’s foundation.
1. Matt Riemann, Health Futurist and Founder of Shae
“The biggest challenge healthcare is facing right now is poor engagement from the patient/consumer, and poor outcomes from healthcare directly related to poor engagement. This has sparked a strong trend in the industry that is focusing heavily on addressing this and related issues around retention, reputation, perception, and the corresponding financial implications. Blockchain stands to offer a scalable solution through incentivization models that can drive patient behavior and assist in creating sustainable behavior change. For this to work, companies will need to also consider the increase in consumer expectations around privacy, transparency, security and decentralization of personal health data.”
2. Chrissa McFarlane, CEO of Patientory, Inc.
“Verification of data using distributed ledgers and supply chain management on the blockchain.”
3. Matthew Sinderbrand, CEO and Co-founder of BetterPath
“Blockchain’s “coming-of-age” takes shape in the form of ecosystems. Right now, when a patient goes to the hospital, more than half of the costs are driven by administrative activities that are literally just figuring out WHO the patient is, WHAT they have, and HOW their care should be paid for. The typical healthcare transaction must touch 5 different organizations just to achieve agreement on its most basic meaning. We’re already starting to see partnerships (e.g. Amazon-JPM-Berkshire) take shape to address this “agreement barrier”, and I think this will set the stage for the larger ecosystem trend toward the same.”
4. Andrew Hoppin, CEO and Co-founder of CoverUS
“Blockchains will help deliver newfound transparency about data governance and usage in healthcare over the next year. At a time when concern about abuses of our personal data has never been greater, the industry needs to improve transparency about what is and isn't being done with our personal health information, in order to recover trust. If we do, then we'll be able to contribute positively to improving interoperability between systems storing health data, and be able to better fill real-world data gaps for research.”
5. Ildar Fazulyanov, CEO and Founder of WELL
“At WELL we believe the top trend in healthcare is total control of one’s health. Whether that be through people controlling and storing their own electronic health records (EHRs), monetizing their data, earning coins to be more physically active and eat better, or seeing a doctor when and where it is convenient for an individual – all the trends we are seeing come back to that same principle of controlling one’s health.”
6. Michael Dershem, CEO and Founder of MAPay
“There is a lot of discussion around the availability of healthcare records to be placed on the blockchain for patient-centric use as well as use in population health management. Heretofore these records have been hard-siloed off in institutional and/or business structures that did not speak to one another. This interoperability has existed in the industry since the advent of the Commodore computer. This is no longer a technology issue but rather a business and regulatory issue. A permissible blockchain driven by the patient may be the answer to getting to the trends shaping the discussion of population health management, dynamic diagnosing as well as fraud and abuse.”
7. Dr. Mark Baker, CEO of MediChain
“High impact, high utility medical and health projects will start to boost the value of blockchain projects such as block chain technologies and token exchanges. Blockchains and exchanges that do not support a major medical or healthcare project will plummet to value and transaction volume relative to those with actual public utility as their bubble bursts.”
8. Ofer Lidsky, CEO and Founder of Digital DNAtix Ltd
“Digital Genetics and Direct to Consumer Genetics are my estimation for the hottest trends in Blockchain and Healthcare. Mainly because Genetics is the main pillar for preventive medicine and personalized medicine. The new possibilities that are going to be introduced in the next couple of years will drive a lot traction to this space.”
9. Todd Chamberlain, CEO and Founder of MedBlox
“Patient inclusion, clear definition of the cconomics behind healthcare's non-monetary transactions, Zero-knowledge Proofs and Universal Blind-IDs.”
Have expert insights to add to this article?
Share your feedback and we'll consider adding it to the piece!ADD YOUR INSIGHTS