Blockchain Growth in the Telehealth Industry
For centuries, people have been practicing medicine, achieving many significant breakthroughs in health technology. However, few have had the same impact as digital technology. In fact, telehealth is a prime example. For the uninitiated, telehealth refers to the provision of health-related services and information using electronic information and communications technology. By enabling communication between patients and doctors, telehealth allows long-distance patients to receive treatment, advice, reminders, guidance, intervention, and monitoring.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a practitioner had to see the patient in person. However, as the pandemic has forced people to stay indoors due to nationwide lockdowns, telehealth kicked in as users and healthcare providers offered safe methods to access and deliver healthcare. In fact, the pandemic has accelerated the use of telehealth and telemedicine technologies by adopting secure communication through virtual channels, in order to prevent the transmission of infections.
Moreover, the process of monitoring online patients has lowered the need for outpatient visits, and has paved the way for remote prescription verification and drug administration oversight. Therefore, the overall cost of medical treatment has been reduced.
Despite the growing popularity and numerous benefits of telemedicine technologies, such as making healthcare accessible for the masses, centralization remains a major challenge in existing telehealth systems, raising the risk of a single point of failure.
In today’s telehealth systems, data is vulnerable to external and internal data breaches that jeopardize the integrity and availability of systems. To address this issue effectively, blockchain technology comes in to make news for all the right reasons.
Blockchain and telehealth are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. Their maturation has offered an opportunity to disrupt the status quo. Without a doubt, the pandemic has served as a major catalyst for the growth of both technologies, gaining more importance as the pandemic fades.
The Rise of Blockchain in Telehealth
Blockchain technology primarily uses a distributed infrastructure to maintain a shared ledger of health information across several users. All ledger copies are verified and synchronized with every blockchain node. This allows for several benefits, such as increased security and privacy, operational transparency, immutability of patient data, and traceability.
As in blockchain technology, a public-key cryptographic system ensures that health records cannot be changed and transactions are digitally signed before they are verified and recorded on the ledger. Moreover, interoperability, the capacity of various electronic health record systems to interact with one another, is one of the key challenges encountered in the healthcare business, which is addressed by blockchain technology.
Through the use of distributed ledger innovations, such as smart contracts, digital patient identity, and tokenization, the integration of blockchain-enabled virtual care technology further increases the impact of telehealth on care delivery. Blockchain in healthcare has the potential to transform the ecosystem by allowing for numerous uses in virtual care delivery. The combination of blockchain technology and smart contracts automates telehealth operations and services in a reliable and efficient way.
In addition, decentralized storage powered by blockchain can help handle audio, video and massive data files while keeping an immutable record of all transactions made for one patient. As security concerns within the industry are heightened, blockchain provides a safe way to verify provider identification and credentials, as well as the validity of all devices and data sources.
Other opportunity areas for blockchain technology in the telehealth industry include patient consent management, remote treatment, traceability of in-home medical kits and devices, secure access to personal healthcare records, traceability of drug delivery, automated payments, etc.
Pioneering Blockchain in Healthcare: Blocknubie
While several new blockchain projects aiming at integrating blockchain technology with telehealth and telemedicine services have recently emerged, Blocknubie is distinguished from all of them. It is considered as the missing link between patients and their health data. In fact, Blocknubie uses the latest developments in blockchain technology and online identity management to deliver self-sovereign electronic healthcare records. The Blocknubie Vault is designed to also help healthcare organizations speed their digital transition by transforming paper-based procedures to online using a simple and straightforward interface. Basically, the platform provides the latest technology and affordable online health diagnosis for people located anywhere in the world.
To learn more about Blocknubie and how it is changing the status quo within the healthcare industry, click here.