Despite living in the 21st century, many hospitals continue to depend on manual labour for many things that could be done more effectively and efficiently with technology. Emerging technologies, like blockchain, are going to seriously shake up healthcare systems as we know them.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is an electronic system which records and stores transaction records and logs them on an encrypted digital ledger.
The system is extremely secure as users can only view the ‘blocks’ which they have access to. Updates can be made to ‘blocks’ and these are replicated across the network.
This new technology will help healthcare workers resolve many current problems that the healthcare industry is facing. Blockchain will enable doctors to create a common database of health information which would be easily accessible for all health professionals regardless of the electronic medical system that they use.
This data would be extremely secure through blockchain’s locking system. Only those who know the ‘key’ will be able to access this highly confidential information.
A change in healthcare as we know it
This could be revolutionary for expats where their medical records are stored in their home country but are needed in their current location. This would ensure that patients are being given the best treatment for their individual cases.
Doctors and nurses would save a lot of admin time meaning that they would have more time to spend with patients. It is expected that blockchain will reduce costs dramatically.
Another opportunity with blockchain is the chance for so-called ‘smart contracts’ to be made. This would change the way in which repeat prescriptions are made. The technology would know when you were next due your prescription and order it for you at the right time.
The future with blockchain
An IBM study found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives were going to employ blockchain technologies into their systems in 2017, with a whopping 56% expected to be using the technology by 2020.
Such technologies are going to disrupt industries everywhere, the healthcare industry included. Watch this space!