Healthcare has been touted as one of the most beneficial use cases for blockchain because the industry is currently plagued by documents that are outdated, fail to match up with current versions, or have incorrect information altogether. These points of inefficiency are paving the way for increased workload on healthcare professionals.
Several blockchain companies are developing solutions to similar issues, for example, CivicKey, a blockchain-based digital identity platform and Aston, a blockchain-based document verification and delivery platform.
Civic and Aston have both stepped into influential roles within the blockchain ecosystem. In fact, South Korea-based Aston took the stage at the BlockShow Asia 2017 to speak about their emerging platform, upcoming technology offerings, and the state of the ICO landscape this year.
According to Deloitte, blockchain has 3 ways to effect significant change for hospitals and other healthcare institutions:
- Data interoperability: Ensuring that patient data can be sent accurately and securely between healthcare providers. Decentralized and standard databases make this much easier to achieve.
- Supply chain management: Making sure that the goods arrive where they are needed when they are needed saves lives. In a similar fashion, accountability for the people that get medicine and other needs to the operating room can reduce theft, fraud, and product loss.
- Revenue Cycle Management: Keeping track of patient accounts, supplier debts, and employee wages can be difficult if data for each is entered into a different data silo. Blockchain can enable healthcare providers to combine this information into one, contiguous database which is shared between the other providers. In the end, everyone knows what they owe, to who, and when the debt is paid.
How can document distribution on the blockchain benefit healthcare?
Secure document distribution is a time and resource intensive process that is considered absolutely mandatory when dealing with modern, private patient data. During an interview with CoinTelegraph, Aston Head of Sales, Connor Tack described the company goal as:
“We seek to replace and automate all the documents that are issued by trusted third parties like hospitals, <. . .> or banks, schools and governments.”
Aston is working to develop a newer, multi-chain platform for document verification and distribution. “X-Chain” is a platform that will ideally be able to send and receive information and documents from all sorts of blockchains, a multi-dimensional structure which stands poised to disrupt existing verification and delivery middlemen.
How can DigitalID on the blockchain benefit healthcare?
Civic plans to provide a digital identification service, called “CivicKey.” Identity protection and verification is a task that even governments struggle with. Ensuring that ID is valid and personal requires large amounts of resources, rapid and consistent distribution, and document security to aid in the prevention of identity theft.
Digital identification can enable healthcare professionals to tie in patient documents to their personal ID, reducing or eliminating the potential for documents to become outdated, lost, or maliciously changed. Increasing accountability is one great facet of blockchain tech that can benefit healthcare greatly, as an industry.
How can a healthy, standardized ICO landscape benefit healthcare?
ICOs are mostly unregulated, but as the amount of funds gained via ICO increases, so do the number of attempts to defraud honest projects, or to create scams altogether. Aston Head of Sales, Connor Tack made some excellent points regarding the need for ICOs to be protective not only of their information, but also of their perception.
Projects are responsible for their ICO, their investors funds, and the overall health of the landscape for projects to come. Blockchain has been built around growth, mutual benefit, and collaboration.