Blockchain and ID-less Healthcare processing
Healthcare is one of the most mission-critical industries of our time. It saves lives but also has a responsibility to take care of the patient, comply with any legal requirements, work in tandem with insurance and other service providers, and yet deliver when the time is of the essence. All of these processes are dependent on data and how soon can professional access it. On the other hand, this data is very personal and sensitive. This requires the utmost care when it comes to the security part of it.
The identification dichotomy
The dichotomy here is that identification and querying of patient’s historical medical data are important for good healthcare service but are also a hindrance because of the tediousness of data collection, vulnerability of traditional data storage methods and smooth transferring of data every time a patient visits different doctors, hospitals or insurance providers.
The process of identification and historical data recovery has to be faster but also secure.
The Blockchain solution
Blockchain solves these problems because by design it is a distributed database that encrypts data with a pseudonymous identity that can be written by many entities but belongs to the patient and can be retrieved only when the identity is established and verified by multiple nodes.
The design of a blockchain allows a patient’s data to be stored pseudonymously, and when a patient authenticates, it can be transferred to any clinic, hospital, insurance company or the patient’s computer.
Companies like Duality Solutions already have solutions that provide easy access to this data via integration with biometric verification systems. It has all the benefits of a blockchain – security, anonymity and decentralized data storage – but none of the risk of a traditional database getting hacked. This also eliminates the need for the patient to enter their details multiple times saving a lot of time for everyone involved.
A patient has to register once with the system to feed in their demographic and historical data that can be secured and authenticated using biometric id. The patient can then keep adding/storing more details as and when they visit a clinic or any medical service provider by just scanning their biometric id.
A visit to a clinic will be simplified since the patient does not have to carry the historical documents or verbally tell the doctor their medical background. They just scan their fingers and the clinic will be able to download the relevant medical data stored on the blockchain. This makes it simpler for the patient as well as the clinic.
The information transferred is hashed – which means split into packets and encrypted – so no one could interpret it or read it even if the information on the network is hacked. Hashing makes the information anonymous.
Key pain points addressed
The key pain points are addressed here. The service providers have a single sign-in and all the patients’ records can be accessed through that. There is no mistake in patient identity, accuracy is the main advantage here.
This system also allows the user to own their data and control who has access to their data at any given point in time.
The system by Duality Solutions called NoID also integrates with popular Personal Health Record management solutions. More open systems on the blockchain mean more collaboration and more transparency for the patient.
The dichotomy of security versus ease-of-use and transparency can be solved with blockchain. The technology is the future of patient enrolment, medical records, and service in the healthcare industry. Interoperability is the key to collaboration in healthcare and the creation of a trustless transfer environment with blockchain is the way forward.
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