EconomyHealthcare on blockchain – ICO for tomorrow’s cancer cure?

Is healthcare ready to fully harness the capabilities of blockchain technology?
Daniel DobOctober 15, 20186 min

Blockchain adoption has quickly expanded across numerous industries. From finance to supply chain management, it seems like blockchain technology has something to bring to the table for every industry – even healthcare. A recent study has named several issues that the healthcare industry is dealing with. These include the reducing number of healthcare workers, increasing number of patients, lack of data interoperability, unsafe patient privacy measures, cyber security risks, and increasing prices.


How blockchain adoption can help healthcare?

  1. Improving data interoperability and record keeping

It is believed that advancing the delivery of healthcare to patients and communities requires an all-inclusive data interoperability system. In other words, to improve their service level and reduce life-threatening mistakes, hospitals and healthcare organizations must have the ability to access patient data on a need-to-know basis. In other words, if you suffer from a medical emergency in another city or country, to treat you right, hospitals need medical data – such as your blood type, and existing conditions.

As blockchain is a distributed database of information, adopting the technology would allow health professionals to quickly find your medical history and issue an efficient treatment plan.

  1. Supply chain management

Blockchain isn’t only relevant in the food supply chain industry, but rather in medical supply chain management as well. In this case, blockchain adoption means keeping track of medical equipment and medicines. By leveraging such a system, pharmacies and hospitals can easily keep track of their stock, verify product authenticity, and hence provide patients with quicker and safer healthcare experience, especially in emergency situations where a specific drug is needed for treatment.

  1. Medical funding

Medical research and testing is expensive. To make sure that the healthcare industry keeps on innovating, a more efficient fundraising system needs to be established. Blockchain can provide as an advantageous investment tool – utilizing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which can be leveraged to fund research into new cures and treatment plans. Security Token Offerings (STOs) can offer investors a share commercial real estate and new medical facilities that will be developed.

  1. Cryptocurrency payments, insurance and price benefits

Digital currencies have often been referred to as the future of the financial market. This means that eventually, healthcare institutions will need to accept crypto-based payments. Blockchain can help in this regard, while also keeping track of all payments to reduce fraud and human error.

Millions of people rely on medical insurance, but the industry is far from perfect. Implementing blockchain technology in this scenario will quicken insurance pay-outs and provide a smoother experience for all patients worldwide.


The future

Photo by: Andy Coravos

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, it seems like blockchain technology can definitely improve, if not completely change the health industry. Since it brings benefits to all parties involved, a study has shown that approximately 56% of healthcare executives are planning to adopt the technology by 2020. We could be seeing new drugs being entirely community funded; and instead of benefiting big pharmas, it would only earn fair profits – benefiting the community who invested, and the patients who get to buy the drugs at a fair, affordable pricing.

Cover photo by: Diana Ngo/coinjournal

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