We hear a lot of talk about blockchain in healthcare and for good reason. Distributed ledger and/or blockchain technology is a hot topic in innumerable fields, ranging from finance to law to logistics and beyond. Definitions abound, but what we’re talking about at a fundamental level is an immutable, decentralized and transparent record of all transactions throughout a peer network.
In health care, we talk about blockchain in terms of its ability to securely, privately and comprehensively track patient health records. Currently, a patient’s medical history is a puzzle with its pieces dispersed across multiple providers and organizations. One piece is held by your primary care doctor. Several pieces are held by every specialist you have visited throughout your life. Another set might be held by wearables or devices that track your health.
Blockchain could help us assemble all of these pieces in real-time and view the entire picture of a patient’s health, with the confidence of knowing it’s both comprehensive and up-to-date.