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Blockchain: Can the New Model for Health Information Exchange Transform the Healthcare Ecosystem??

Blockchain: Can the New Model for Health Information Exchange Transform the Healthcare Ecosystem??

Commenced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, "anonymous," or rather a fictitious person or a group, Blockchain technology took the world by storm through its revolutionary work in data management and exchange. Its immense success across every sector has labeled it as the 'answer to interoperability,' and 'the technology that can solve healthcare's impending problems.
 
Blockchain has become a kinetic appellation in today's healthcare world. With providers, payers, and digital health developers lauding its potential to increase work efficiencies, securely transmit, share data and improve patient outcomes, companies now are akin to capitalize on the trend. Blockchain can be defined as "a shared, entrenched record of peer- to peer transactions assembled from linked blocks which are stored in a digital ledger." In elemental form, blockchain can be described as a distributed system implemented for recording and storing transaction records.  Blockchain reckons on established cryptographic techniques to allow each participant in a network to interact which includes storing, exchanging and viewing information without splintering trust between the parties. The blockchain is not authorized centrally; instead, records are stored and distributed across the network. 

Blockchain's course of development:

The blockchain is peer- to peer distributed ledger and works on three major components.

1. The Distributed System: The decentralized P2P architecture has nodes which consist of network participants, an identical copy of the blockchain is stored with each member who is authorized to validate and certify digital transactions for the network. 
2. Shared Ledger: The ongoing digital transactions are recorded into a shared ledger by the members of the network. The algorithms are run, and the proposed operation is verified. Once the transaction gets validated by the majority of the members, it is added to the shared ledger. 
3. Digital transaction: A digital transaction or digital asset that could be stored in a blockchain can be called as a digital transaction. Each transaction is structured into a 'block,' and each block contains a cryptographic hash to add the transactions in linear, chronological order. 
 
Visualizing blockchain in healthcare: In healthcare systems, condemnatory information is scattered across multiple systems and may not be accessible at times when needed the most. Often the current healthcare infrastructure is called inadequate to handle information exchange and requires certain jerks. According to
The contemporary Gartner Hype Cycle, Blockchain has gone beyond the "transformation trigger" and is just at the "peak of inflated expectations" which can possibly transform our view for healthcare and data together. 

How blockchain technology will cast off in healthcare?

Cryptography is on the way to become an important part of hospitals working methodology. Taking into account the fast progress in the development of the new and efficient healthcare record systems, wearable devices, and medical examination systems, it can be said that the blockchain era has begun. Let's see the benefits of using blockchain technology in healthcare. 

1. Single, elongated patients records- A single, elongated record compiling episodes, disease registries, lab results, treatments including inpatient, ambulatory and wearable data can be achieved through blockchain which will assists providers in coming up with the better ways of delivering care.

2. Master patient indicia: Often while dealing with healthcare data, records get mismatched or duplicated due to the reason that different EHRs have a different schema for every single field which creates different ways of entering and manipulating most straightforward sets of data.  Withblockchain, not just the primary key but the entire data set is hashed to a ledger. So if the user will look for the address, multiple address and multiple cores can pop up but they all will yield to unique patient identification.  

3. Claims settlement: Since blockchain works on a validation- based exchange, the claims can be automatically verified as the network agrees upon the way a contract is executed. Also, there would be fewer errors and frauds since there is no central authority. 

4. Supply chain management: Healthcare organizations can be monitored about the supply-demand cycles through its entire lifecycle by blockchain. The blockchain-based contract can notice how the transaction is taking place, whether the contract is successful or not and if there is any delay for it. 

5. Interoperability: The most promising asset of the blockchain can be realized by using jaded APIs to make EHR interoperability and data storage an unequivocal process. The blockchain network is shared with authorized providers in a secure and standardized way which eliminates the expenditure associated with data reconciliation. Apart from these, blockchain can transform revenue cycle management, drug supply management, and clinical trials and prevent frauds. 

Shaping the blockchain future and the road ahead-

Undoubtedly, blockchain technology has created unique opportunities to reduce complexity, enable trustless collaboration, and create secure and immutable information. To shape blockchain's future, health systems should consider mapping and convening the blockchain ecosystem, establishing a blockchain framework to coordinate early adapters and supporting a consortium for dialogue and discovery.  On the significant front, blockchain's potential for healthcare depends on how intrigued healthcare organizations are to create the required technical infrastructure. The blockchain is a costly concern because of its integration with existing technology and its speculation about its cultural adoption. 

Over the past year, blockchain has taken healthcare by storm, and a significant number of investments is seen for blockchain. With such wide-ranging responsibilities, blockchain may someday transform the big data landscape.
 

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