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Opinions

Healthcare and Cryptocurrency — The Future

Health care is the world’s fastest growing industry. The industry is not just about patients and doctors but also includes life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, services, and healthcare equipment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 14.3 million people are employed in the healthcare industry.

According to the research study, health market was worth $179.6 billion in 2016 which is now expanding at a CAGR of 13.40%. The market is projected to reach $536.6 billion by the end of 2025.

The need for blockchain to tap into this gigantic industry is quite high. Personal records (Social security numbers, PINs, medical records, hereditary information and so much more) could be managed by blockchain very easily and effectively while allowing complete privacy and security to the consumer.

Record management may not be a big deal for first world countries that have elaborate systematized data structures but moving down the hierarchy, the availability of record structures fade away. Proper healthcare systems are a myth in many third world countries that see multitudes of patients being misdiagnosed or diseases not being diagnosed just because of unavailability of Past Medical History (PMH).

More than 20% patients that care for a second opinion are found to be misdiagnosed earlier. This number is triple in underdeveloped countries. Absence of proper record keeping is taking lives.

Blockchain could change all that.

Blockchain can allow caregivers to make a single record ‘file’ for a single patient that could be accessed by care givers and relevant medical staff when permitted by the patient. This record can then be forwarded to a new caregiver in an event of change of facility. The need for development of new record or wasting time on collecting PMH could be shortened by hours.

Blockchain can also allow pharmaceutical companies to trace and track their drugs from packaging to distribution to relevant patients to prevent foul play.

The number of security breaches that are attracted to non-blockchain custom programs is very high. Hackers can steal your id and can access your records by picking the central record system i.e. hospital servers. Blockchain changes all that. With no central system, the potential of security breach is dramatically reduced.

Insurance fraud is one of the world’s most comprehensive fraud structures. Patients/caregivers claim wrong information to receive benefits. Treatments that were never given are billed to the central system. Blockchain, with its transparent date stamps, can prevent all this.

In conclusion, health care system is deep in security issues and problems that could be easily handled by blockchain. Alot of healthcare facilitators are looking into blockchain as viable option for traditional record keeping but there’s still time in that.

Sarim Mehmood

An electrical engineer to be. Sarim is a blockchain & crypto enthusiast and an early investor in ETH and Ethereum based projects. Contact the editor at editor.opinions@blockpublisher.com

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