Traditional mechanisms of medical data exchange are outdated, inefficient, and cannot keep up with the tasks set by modern realities. Introducing blockchain technology into the healthcare infrastructure makes it possible to apply innovative data storage and management methods to medicine and pharmaceuticals.
With the ability of blockchain to segment information and ensure a high level of confidentiality of the data provided, the use of this technology guarantees a fast, streamlined, and secure exchange of information between patients, doctors, research centers, and drug suppliers, eliminating data loss, falsification, and bureaucracy.
In what areas is blockchain technology already used in modern medicine?
Creating a Unified Patient Database
The main direction of blockchain integration into the healthcare infrastructure is the creation of a unified medical information database of patients. Transferring patient information to blockchain platforms provides the following benefits:
- confidentiality of patient records. Providing access to clinical and medical data only with the patient’s consent;
- the possibility of prompt consultation, diagnosis of the patient by healthcare professionals from anywhere in the world online;
- data is stored in a decentralized network, so it is more resistant to data loss and hacker attacks.
Doc.com application seems to be a promising solution for creating a unified database based on blockchain.
The main goal of Doc.com authors is to make medicine universal by providing free basic medical care around the world.
The Doc blockchain architecture allows the following features to be implemented in the application:
- User Match Engine — provides communication between the patient and the doctor.
- Human-AI Engine — a cross-diagnostic tool to quickly and efficiently diagnose patients.
- Intelligent Patient Routing — technology that provides secure storage and quick access to patient records.
Doc.com platform users receive medical token currency (MTC) as a reward for providing personal medical records. MTC coins can be held, invested, or spent to purchase additional products and services using the Doc.com app.
Fighting Counterfeit and Substandard Medicines
Another area of healthcare that uses decentralized technology is pharmaceutical supply chains. Blockchain can provide a reliable mechanism for tracking drugs from production to delivery to medical institutions.
All information about the ingredients of drugs, their shelf life, manufacturer and supplier is stored in the blockchain. Due to its immutability, the data entered by the drug manufacturer cannot be deleted or falsified.
Now factories and pharmaceutical companies will be able to confirm the authenticity of the data at any time, and patients will be able to make sure that the medicine came from a verified manufacturer.
Using blockchain technology can significantly increase the speed and efficiency of clinical and biomedical research. The creation of a decentralized unified clinical research database will optimize data exchange between research organizations.
Each organization will keep control over its research data, but at the same time, it will be able to collaborate with other research institutions, sharing information for joint analysis. Also, due to the immutability of the blockchain, the possibility of research data falsification is eliminated, which increases the accuracy and reliability of the research. The high level of information confidentiality provided by research participants attracts more people who consent to take part in clinical and biomedical research.
Stem Cell Innovations (SCI) is developing an application that consolidates two advanced technologies — stem cell technology and blockchain technology. This application will allow the user, regardless of their origin and location, to have instant access to stem cell specialists.
The implementation of blockchain technology into the architecture of the solution developed by SCI specialists allowed the application to be used in the following directions:
- as a unified database of analysis and development of various research centers in stem cell application;
- use the platform as a registry for storing information about patients’ medical records. Once uploaded to the blockchain, medical records are secure and anonymous;
- to purchase synthetic stem cells.
Blockchain is a relatively new technology. Healthcare industry conservatism and the lack of desire among patients to become users of new technology are probably the main obstacles to the implementation of blockchain in medicine.
Investors are just beginning to see the symbiosis of blockchain and healthcare as an economically profitable project. But specialists from companies developing solutions based on blockchain are very optimistic.
Considering how fast one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century is developing, the success and popularity of many projects, the widespread digitalization of medicine and pharmaceuticals based on blockchain technology is just around the corner.