Blockchain technology increases security, protects privacy, and promotes the interoperability of health data. Further, the use of blockchain with Artificial Intelligence will create a predictive system that would contribute to the clinical workflow.
Blockchain is increasingly used as a valid approach to share data among groups securely. The technology is being used for conducting audit reports on physicians’ licenses, identifying and tracking drugs; and understanding health outcomes for patients.
Many other applications include supply chain networks for pharmacology, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for health record maintenance and fraud prevention, clinical trials, and the new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) in data security. Studies suggest that 55% of all healthcare applications will have blockchain by 2025. In 2040, global spending on healthcare will reach USD 18 trillion.
Blockchain helps to obtain patient consent for sharing their details and makes data-transfer secure and tamper-proof. Smart contracts protect patient anonymity, make research results available without any bias in human data collection and analytics, and curtail the burgeoning costs of clinical trials.
Likewise, the use of algorithms in healthcare helps researchers, doctors, and scientists to review, interpret, and suggest solutions to complex medical problems. AI is being used for medical diagnostics, the discovery of drugs, and lessen time to market. AI leads to improved data analysis, more innovation, higher success rates, and more affordable drugs for patients.
Let’s understand how the healthcare industry can leverage the best of these two technologies here.
By combining the latest advancements in these technologies, the medical industry will have improved quality service, reduced costs, and democratized healthcare. AI needs data and blockchain allows for encrypted data. Blockchain will help to determine the logic present in the algorithmic decision-making process.
The promise we have in the “near future” from the provider-payer setting perspective is to have a shared view of claims, gain ownership of data transition, understand the next ownership status with required privacy.
Tej Anand, Professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, explains that blockchain helps in the elimination of redundant work, rework, and reconciliation in healthcare. When combined with AI, we can steer work in a predictive healthcare setting and gain the right level of service intensity. The information will be shared contextually to appropriate participants – clinician, patient, or caregiver.
Let’s take the COVID-19 case as an example here.
Blockchain plays a strategic role in COVID-19-safe clinical practice. The combination of the potentialities of blockchain and Artificial Intelligence rapidly identify the diagnosis and treatment specific for COVID-19 patients and contributes to the development of clinical guidelines for possible epidemics (similar to coronavirus) in the future.
The data from clinical laboratories, hospitals, primary care physicians, pediatricians, and other sources are shared while respecting privacy and security with blockchain. Analysis of data is done by using AI solutions. This model is valid for risk management, promotes research into suitable therapies, and fosters the development of new drugs.
In the coming years, Blockchain and AI technologies will advance further and redefine the industry at a faster rate. The tech giants- Apple, Amazon, and Google are also venturing into the healthcare ecosystem. In brief, the healthcare marketplace is ever-growing and we will be seeing the impacts very soon.
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