What is Blockchain? A Healthcare Perspective


What is Blockchain in Healthcare Market?- Business Outlook

There is a lot of talk about use of Blockchain in Healthcare Market.  Blockchain, in its simplest form, is a “distributed consensus ledger” that stores information across personal computers or dedicated workstations. Blockchain uses cryptographic algorithms running across a vast network of independent computers. Adding to that blockchain records every transaction on a public, transparent ledger, and it is a decentralized database which makes it extremely difficult to hack. The growth in adoption of this technology across the ICT module can be studied using Industry Analysis tools like Global Market Database.

Industry Analysis suggests that blockchain provides several advantages which include data transparency, enhanced security, easy access, and user integrity. According to the market database, such a mix of factors has allowed for greater adoption of this technology in the healthcare vertical. Pharmaceutical companies, healthcare players, and healthcare providers are the key entities that make use of blockchain technology for different purposes. Global Market Database indicates that pharmaceutical companies have commanded a significant share in the market to offer a resilient and reliable exchange of information.

The COVID-19 induced pandemic has accelerated the demand for secure transmission and tracking of data. Maintenance and storage of Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a major application of blockchain technology as per the market database. Vaccine delivery and administration are other sensitive data points that need to be stored securely. The business recovery and change in market outlook associated with the pandemic can also be studied using Global Market Database.

Public & Private Platforms

Market database suggests that blockchain technology can be distributed on different platforms, they are broadly classified as public and private platforms. Global Market Database states that the public platform is mainly used for public data management and transmission. The data can be easily accessed by all individuals who have an active internet connection. Public platforms are also termed permission-less blockchain systems. According to Global Market Database tools, Ethereum is a public network blockchain platform which widely used by different healthcare players. The dedicated blockchain applications can be deployed with the help of smart contracts according to Global Market Database tools. Low cost and access to a larger public database are some of the advantages offered by this system. The utilization of this technology can be studied using Global Market Database. The cloud based Industry Analysis tool understands the shift in line with changing market trends.

Industry Analysis tools state that private platforms which are also termed permissioned blockchain systems provide limited access to players. The healthcare module and its players can develop their in-house blockchain platform or can outsource the assignment to dedicated companies which are proficient in blockchain programming. According to the market database, privacy, fast transactions, and high security are some of the advantages offered by this system. Global Market Database suggests that increased demand in limited access is the major factor that has contributed towards a positive business outlook for this type. Further advancements in technology are expected to augment the growth in this market.

A spectrum of Applications:

Industry analysis states that blockchain is a versatile technology and has been deployed for different use cases in the healthcare industry. According to the GMD, supply chain management has experienced a greater share in the market. Industry analysis tools state that this is due to the objective to curb the spread of fraudulent drugs and avoid theft. Industry Analysis states that the establishment of stringent regulations such as the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) in the U.S has accelerated the use cases of blockchain in this region. Furthermore, blockchain in the supply chain has allowed for delivery tracking more transparently and securely. Industry Analysis platforms like Global Market Database can study the applications associated with this sector.

Industry Analysis suggests that the management of clinical data & interoperability is another set of applications witnessed in the healthcare industry. According to the GMD, the huge influx of Electronic Health Records (EHR) has supported the use cases of blockchain to provide user integrity. For instance, according to Industry Analysis, the medical data of a patient is securely transferred to different healthcare institutions for research or diagnostic purposes. Industry analysis tools state that the patient can access the public blockchain network to keep track of the medical data and avoid misuse of sensitive information such as name, address, credit information, etc.

Claims adjudication and billing management is another field in the healthcare module where blockchain has provided efficiency. Insurance claims can be easily verified by the healthcare providers and authenticate the users to avoid false claims. This has provided transparency, efficiency, and rapid claim processing. As the users can be authenticated easily, the billing or redressal transactions are processed faster without any frauds.

Growth Catalysts in Healthcare market

According to the GMD, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of blockchain technology in the healthcare module. Vaccine delivery and administration were tracked with help of blockchain technology. For instance, according to industry analysis, in March 2020, the world health organization (WHO) launched its blockchain program based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) named “MiPasa”. Market research states that this platform helped in conveying data COVID-19 in a real-time and authenticated manner while making use of advanced analytics.

The digital trends such as migration towards modern healthcare IT infrastructures from legacy systems have supported the growth of this market. Market research tools state that the applications of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring during the pandemic have resulted in an increased demand for the secure transmission of medical records. GMD suggests that such a mix of factors has contributed towards a promising business outlook for blockchain in healthcare market.

Market research states that increased cases of data breaches and the threat of counterfeit drugs have led to stricter government policies to manage and operate the healthcare supply chains. For instance, according to WHO, many countries like Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America have areas where more than 30% of the medicines are counterfeited.

Supporting Technologies for Blockchain in healthcare market:

Internet of Things (IoT) is a major technology that has supported the growth of blockchain in healthcare market. Market research states that an increased number of data sources that are installed in medical equipment, machinery, patient beds, etc. need to be managed securely. GMD states that the key drivers for blockchain in healthcare market implementation is the existing capability to track these data sources in an open platform and avoid any malfunctions. Growth in wearable devices such as smartwatches has provided another source of digital data that can be shared between the patient and healthcare professional.

Market research states that cloud computing has supported the storage and management of databases from remote locations. Blockchain when coupled with cloud technology can help to ease the costs involved during installation, operations, and storage. Furthermore, according to market research tools, advancements in cloud computing, such as the use of edge computing have provided the ability to transfer data at greater speeds and enhanced security. GMD suggests that the introduction of 5G is expected to boost the demand for blockchain in healthcare market. According to market research performed via market intelligence platforms, this is due to an increase in the number of connected devices which is expected to lead to greater communication. The transfer of such large size information over digital platforms can be managed and secured by the use of blockchain.

The U.S Market Perspective of Blockchain in healthcare market:

The US Market is one of the most advanced market, with respect to adopting technologies like blockchain in healthcare market. GMD suggests that the region has commanded a greater share in the blockchain in healthcare market. According to market research tools, this is due to the presence of well-established healthcare module, key market players, and robust distribution networks. For example, in November 2019, market research tools suggest that the U.S department of health and human services (HHS) invested around USD 49 million to build blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to reduce the overall operational costs. According to the market database, greater adoption of technology and advancements in research have contributed towards an optimistic market outlook for this region. The prominent growth segments for an industry can also be studied using Global Market Database. The market research platform provides free market data across 600+ verticals.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in 2017, there were at least 477 healthcare data breaches, which affected more than 5 million patient healthcare records. Market research suggests that to tackle such stressful issues, the region has witnessed an emergence of next-generation start-ups which have collaborated with different companies to provide blockchain solutions. According to the market database, a major player in the U.S, in 2018, partnered with a start-up to integrate smart devices with a secure distributed ledger by a combination of IoT with blockchain technology.

Market research tools suggest that partnerships, agreements, acquisitions, collaborations, and mergers have contributed towards innovation in this market. For instance, a major player in 2020, partnered with a healthcare provider to develop blockchain solutions to track and monitor the shipments of medical equipment. In 2018, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative (IBI) launched several pilots, which included the pilot on blockchain health provider credentialing solutions. The blockchain in healthcare market looks promising in US and EU countries in the short term and this would also be implemented in rest of the world in the future.