Recent developments in blockchain technology have come a long way. Blockchain is now breaking into new streams, and “telemedicine” is one of them – emerging into a whole new spectrum. If we look at concerns in the telemedicine world – data breaches, violations of privacy, counterfeit drugs, and so are usual.
Healthcare app developers took this issue to notice and realized the potential blockchain has – it is the sort of digital aid healthcare needs today. In numbers, the affiliation between blockchain and telemedicine will only progress further. It is predicted that by 2025 over 55% of healthcare applications will rely on blockchain. The cost will have a similar pipeline – projected at around $829 million by 2023.
Interestingly, we saw the pandemic leading to a massive increase in blockchain demand. Hospitals were heavily dependent on virtual healthcare – patients demanded remote checkups. A lot of clinical data was exchanged, and blockchain-adapted technology made the management and protection process easier.
Keep reading as we take an in-depth look at blockchain and telemedicine – benefits, emergence, and incorporation.
Benefits of Blockchain in Telemedicine
The inclusion of blockchain in healthcare is at an all-time high right now. As we settle into a socially distanced world with increasing digitization, we see even more growth. Here are four specific benefits:
· Secure data sharing
Blockchain-supported technology has reduced the bridge between doctors and patients – allowing them to safely exchange information without worrying about third-party interferences.
Apart from an improvement in diagnosis and treatment of patients via data – encryption of medical data can even lead to a better investigation of medical accidents.
· Growth in healthcare
Nowadays, healthcare is heavily dependent on payment gateways, remote treatment, patient tracking, and insurance services. Blockchain facilitated the IT department, making the process much more transparent.
Additionally, the cost-effective nature of blockchain systems has been a major factor in promoting its market growth.
· Patient autonomy
Blockchain has benefited patients just as much – they now have the privilege of accessing their data. Patients can analyze their diagnosis and decide their medical treatment plan accordingly.
Encrypted data allows patients to decide who has control over their personal information and how it will get interpreted.
· More transparency
Digitization of medical data had a downside as well. Sensitive data like patient medical history and personal information were often at risk. Blockchain technology provided the needed solution – heavy encryption and data transparency.
We have seen fraud insurance claims take place over the past few years. Data was not as confidential, apparently. Blockchain smart contracts have automated the process as well.
Merging Blockchain and Telemedicine Together
At first, the idea might sound odd – medicine and blockchain aren’t exactly comprehendible together. But if you look at what they both stand for individually and how perfectly it aligns together – it will make sense.
- Blockchain: A decentralized digital ledger system where information cannot be hacked, replicated, or breached. A platform where transparency is maintained as encrypted data is shared between networks
- Telemedicine: Healthcare systems that rely on technology. Facilitating patients via appointments, offering remote check-up services, digitizing medical equipment, and so on – are all part of telemedicine.
Initial Days and development
Suddenly taking old-school medical practices “digital” brought its share of problems as well. Every operation was at risk – a fragile highlight of a centralized system. The entire database could fall victim to one data breach. Not many decisions could be taken. Telemedicine had an automatic, mundane structure – barely any room for innovation.
Once emerged with blockchain – we saw hospitals looking at new avenues. A healthcare app development company – MediLedger is currently being powered by Chronicle for example. They provide state-of-the-art technology-infused medical solutions.
Now, we see distributed architecture at play where every credential is associated and synced with each blockchain node. Complete access to the transfer of data – IT team at hospitals can track a patient’s cycle now – supply of drugs and medications, for instance.
Key highlights of blockchain technology include:
- Decentralized: This allows more accessibility. No one user has exclusive control. Anyone can be a part of the ledger cycle and see-through data in a decentralized network.
- Void of corruption: It is difficult – rather impossible for hackers to corrupt any data in the cycle. In a blockchain-infused transaction, each node is supported by another. A transaction is fully passed only when all the nodes in the cycle approve it.
- Easy and faster transactions: Crypto fanatics love how blockchain eliminates any third-party interference. Traditional banking is no longer the go-to option.
- Immune: To sum up in one word, cryptography. A series of complex mathematical algorithms – works as a firewall in this space.
Incorporation of Blockchain in a Telemedicine Environment
Once blockchain is in full motion – the aftermath results are surely worthwhile. Seeing blockchain integrated technology in effect, you can estimate the potential it has at full scale.
- Payment gateways
Digital payment is the default option in mind for patients. They are guaranteed a smoother, faster, reliable, and more secure payment method with blockchain.
With no third-party bank at play, the entire cash flow system becomes more transparent. This direct approach saves a lot of trouble and fuss. Plus, it is secure and automated – every transaction has blockchain elements behind it.
Blockchain specifically supports micropayments – patients can use their cryptocurrency wallet to pay their dues instantly.
- Improved IoT security
Every monitoring device – the type of sensory tools we see patients use are prone to security fails or technical faults. Immediate communication between medical staff is necessary in these cases.
For example, a pacemaker can fail to alert a heart patient’s caretaker at the right time. With high chances of malicious attacks in an ordinary get-go system, blockchain proves otherwise.
A decentralized blockchain system allows IoT devices to directly link with each other without any outside (centralized server) interference.
Overall – if we look at the bigger picture – there’s an upcoming world where healthcare and blockchain are inseparable, and telemedicine has projected to new heights. Innovations all around, more significant impact, and tremendous industry growth.
In a data-driven future, blockchain is breaking into every avenue possible and in a “good” way – leading every industry to explore new horizons. Medicine is a part of this complex yet creative journey.