Application of Blockchain in Healthcare

Blockchain in healthcare is a new concept that is gaining popularity in the sector. The healthcare industry stands to benefit by incorporating blockchain technology into its structure. I can describe blockchain as " irreproachable digital log of financial transactions that can be configured to record not just financial transactions but essentially everything of value"

Although blockchain has been a topic of discussion for a while, it came into sharper focus in 2017 with the maturation of private and public blockchain structures, Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, respectively, in 2016. This led to further technology demystification and other use cases being discussed. Its inherently advantageous characteristics, including data security, dependability, privacy, and interoperability, are inspiring excitement and having an impact on business in several sectors.

How Blockchain Works in Healthcare

A massive amount of data is produced and consumed during the entire clinical trial process. This includes statistics related to patient health and drug dosage, pathology and radiology reports and images, surveys, data related to medical devices and instruments, as well as safety and quality reports. All this data is consumed by a diverse set of stakeholders, including clinicians, doctors, facility administration, regulatory bodies, sponsors, and the pharma company itself.

The data supply chain has so many parameters that mistakes can occur accidentally or on purpose. Fraud often entails concealing or submitting false information about crucial facts (such as falsified permission forms or changed trial outcomes) to hasten the process or maintain one's integrity. Additionally, the protocol might not be disclosed to all parties involved or might even be changed throughout the study to increase the likelihood of success. How can blockchain technology help in this case?

Uses of Blockchain in Healthcare

Blockchain has a significant potential of enhancing the efficiency of data supply chains. The clinical trial's procedure must be well-defined from the beginning, and relevant data must be gathered and distributed to all stakeholders, including the auditors and government regulators. By joining the Blockchain network, it will be impossible for any feature of the procedure to be changed in the future to suit one or more parties. The blockchain archives all potentially susceptible data as the trial goes on, including the transfer of medications, supplies, equipment, and medical devices as well as the creation and exchange of reports.

As a result, measures like source data verification are no longer necessary because the data's authenticity is undeniable. The introduction of blockchain and integration of the clinical data management system with all the other stakeholders would hasten the clinical trial procedure even more and lead to early decision-making with a reduced risk of outcome manipulation. Additionally, smart contracts can be used as "toll gates" to confirm the end of one phase before the beginning of the next. This can be used at particular checkpoints between stages as well as during each of the three clinical trial phases.

In conclusion, blockchain offers significant benefits for the clinical trial procedure, from tracking trial protocols and protocol revisions to documenting all data flows throughout the trial's many phases until the moment it enters the regulatory approval stage. Blockchain technology when employed in the process, not only makes it visible to patients and all other partners but also increases efficiency, shortens the drawn-out trial phase, and improves reliability while retaining security and privacy.

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