How Blockchain is Revolutionizing mHealth

November 17, 2021 - 6 minutes read

With a large part of society turning toward the investment and adoption of cryptocurrency, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about blockchain. But, what is blockchain? Simply put, blockchain is a shared digital ledger composed of records, or “blocks”, that is essentially used to record transactions and track assets.

To serve our communities such as Seattle, Las Vegas, New York and ensure organizations are getting development services that thrive in these new cutting-edge technologies, we’ve made it our mission to help deliver innovative app design services in this space.

Since its inception 2008, blockchain has predominantly been used to trade cryptocurrencies due to its highly-secure, high-speed, and decentralized structure. However, in recent years developers have discovered that the blockchain platform isn’t only beneficial for crypto. Rather, this system of interconnected “blocks” of information is proving to be deployable throughout a number of different industries. 

For instance, the automotive, government, and supply chain industries are discovering various applications for blockchain. In this article, however, we will be discussing the potential uses for blockchain within the healthcare industry. 

Throughout this article we will be taking a look at some of the primary benefits that blockchain has to offer for healthcare and mHealth applications. With this information, we hope to provide you with insight into how blockchain technology can be leveraged within mobile healthcare application development to create a more secure and interoperable platform. 

Why use Blockchain in Healthcare? 

As we mentioned previously, blockchain has predominantly been used to manage and trade different crypto assets. So, how can blockchain technology be used within the healthcare industry? 

For starters, if we take a look at the healthcare interoperability roadmap offered by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, we see policy requirements for a secure network infrastructure and a system of verifiable identity. The issue that arises with these requirements is that current technologies aren’t equipped to handle these specifications due to limitations with security, privacy, and ecosystem interoperability. 

This is where blockchain technology comes into play. Even though blockchain doesn’t portray a fully matured state today, as it is a rather recent development, it still has the potential to create countless benefits and opportunities within the healthcare industry. 

For instance, blockchain technology provides the opportunity to reduce complexity, enable trustless collaboration between users, and establish secure and immutable information. Through these capabilities, blockchain technology has the power to enable the following opportunities for the healthcare industry:

Data Security and Patient Privacy 

As I’m sure we’re all well-aware, data security with regards to patient health records, insurance claims, and other confidential information is critical. And, with hacking attacks occuring every 39 seconds, it’s important now more than ever for the healthcare industry to ensure a sense of confidentiality, integrity, and availability for its patients. 

Fortunately for mHealth developers, the security features that come standard with blockchain technology provide a significant aid in protecting health information. In other words, because blockchain provides a system of public and private keys, this technology virtually prohibits unauthorized users from accessing the information stored behind this encryption.

For instance, with regards to mhealth app development, the electronic medical records (EMRs) stored on these apps are backed by heightened security when blockchain technology is in place. More specifically, because these records are often sent to medical personnel by patients for telemedicine purposes, blockchain’s use of public and private keys allow the data to only be opened by the intended medical professional.

Seamless Interoperability of Health Records

Imagine a world where each of your doctors had access to your current health information without having to run through questions and testing each time you went. Pretty cool, right? Well, with blockchain technology, this fantasy is actively becoming a reality. More specifically, by leveraging blockchain as a single transaction layer, healthcare organizations will have the ability to submit and share data through a single secure system. 

One method of achieving this interoperability is by storing a set of standardized data on the chain, accessible by each of the patient’s doctors, while simultaneously storing private encrypted links to “more confidential” information that only certain medical professionals should have access to. 

Through this system of blockchain integration, patients would have easy access to all of their health information, which they could then choose to send to whichever medical professionals may need that data. In other words, blockchain provides the healthcare industry with the potential to create a never-before-seen system of interoperability and collaboration between patient and doctor. 

In addition to the opportunities detailed above, blockchain technology has the potential to unlock a variety of new use cases for the healthcare industry including research for better patient care, insurance claims, and tracking diseases and outbreaks.

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