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How Blockchain is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

Blockchain Part 1: An Intro To Blockchain Technologies

Blockchain technology has gained immense popularity and buzz ever since its introduction to the tech world, especially for the advancements it brought to the financial sector. Payments, exchanges, and data management have been revolutionized thanks to blockchain, which ultimately led to more innovation across multiple businesses and industries, including healthcare. But how does this technology actually work 

What is Blockchain?

At its core, blockchain is a decentralized system that consists of linked blocks of data chained together by digital cryptographic signatures. Each one of these is called a ‘hash’ and is stored in shared digital ledgers, which are supported by nodes. These nodes are a network of connected processes that maintain a safe copy of the entire chain. Nodes are continuously updated and kept in sync. 

Users can access the chain of information shared on a distributed network of systems, but to make changes to the data, all the participants in that particular chain system have to agree to those changes. This makes blockchain impenetrable to hackers or essentially anyone who wants to try to manipulate the data, as changes to the blocks can only be made through a consensus.  

Check out the diagram, courtesy of Infinity Economics, to better understand the entire process. 

How Does Blockchain Work in the Healthcare Industry? 

Just as with other industries, blockchain is also altering and restructuring the healthcare sector with various tweaks and changes. For instance, blockchain connects various systems and databases, which generate key insights that lead to better care and diagnosis for patients. Blockchain has the potential to alter the entire medical system by placing patients at the center of its entire ecosystem. 

The digital ledger also can fortify and increase privacy, security, as well as interoperability of big health data, all while providing a new model when it comes to health information exchange (HIE) by making digital medical records more efficient. According to a Global Market Insights report, blockchain technology in the healthcare market was valued at over $48.1 million in 2018 and is expected to see a 65% increase by 2025. 

One of the biggest advantages of blockchain in healthcare is the complete absence of a central administrator. This automatically eliminates the costs and hassle of intermediaries, unlocking the full potential of interoperability.  

The healthcare industry is all about having unlimited access to patient data while keeping the information secure and confidential, that’s why blockchain is the perfect technology for this sector. Easy access, data confidentiality, scalability, and security—all wrapped in a future-proof technology. 

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Blockchain Tech 

Even though blockchain is still considered a disruptive technology, its benefits are far-reaching. Below is a list of the top 5 ways blockchain is transforming the healthcare industry, and why you should consider investing in this future-ready technology.

1. Easy Access to Health Data and Patient Records 

By leveraging this decentralized system, access to patient data, laboratory results, disease records, and treatments becomes easier and more accessible. This feature benefits both doctors and patients, as all participants can store data in the cloud for others to access, analyze, and modify. Using this system will also prevent any chance of data loss while creating a permanent medical history for patients. Additionally, physicians will have the ability to access a patient’s real-time health status, if the patient uses wearables, for example. 

2. Interoperability and Smooth Health Data Exchange 

Although sometimes a complex process, data transfer has to be fast. Blockchain not only allows easy access to health data, it speeds up data transfer and exchanges due to how the entire ledger system is set up. Precision and coordination are key in the healthcare industry, so having access to critical information is everything. Interoperability is not only limited to information exchange, it’s also about the trust among users involved in the data flow and making sure everything is happening in a secure environment. 

3. Top-Of-The-Line Cybersecurity 

We’ve already established that blockchain provides heightened security thanks to the nature of its technology. Blockchain’s cryptography capabilities ensure that data is kept secure and safe, impenetrable by outside parties, and it doesn’t even allow its own users to tamper with the data unnoticed by the other members of the chain. Healthcare data, patient privacy, and digital medical devices have to be kept safe at all times, and the increasing number of cyber attacks makes blockchain the most reliable technology against digital breaches.  

4. Better Supply Chain Management 

The last thing any medical clinic, facility, or hospital wants is to mix up their drug delivery, not have supplies delivered in time, or not have supplies delivered at all. There’s always confusion around logistics, and the bigger and more frequent the transports, errors are bound to happen. A decentralized system also eliminates issues like unauthorized access, data loss, or accidental deletion. Luckily, blockchain can provide a streamlined delivery experience for everyone, as both medical and logistics personnel can have access to the same supply chain where they can communicate. This automatically prevents mistakes and confusion around orders and transport.

5. Safe Payments 

Blockchain started as an ecosystem for safe payments, especially payments that involve cryptocurrency, but the technology has evolved so much since then. Nonetheless, safe payments are still a core feature of this technology. Blockchain can facilitate fast and secure payments through its encrypted ledgers, which also provide real-time verification. And the best part? No intermediaries, aka banks. 


Similar to how cloud computing technology led to innovative healthcare cloud computing solutions being developed, blockchain technology will undoubtedly lead to numerous applications in the medical sector.

The advantages of blockchain technology are far-reaching. From easy access to health data, all the way to cutting-edge cyber security features and safe payment methods, this future-proof system is brimming with benefits. Its nature is still disruptive, especially for those who do not fully understand it just yet, however, once you have a clear grasp on what blockchain actually does and how it functions, you’ll have zero doubts about whether it’s a good investment integrating it in your healthcare business. 

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Adrian Cighi, Principal, Romania Consulting

Adrian is an experienced software engineer and project manager, with additional competencies in business development and customer relations. He has extensive experience in leading project teams and delivering high-quality products, and is dedicated to continuous process improvement.

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