New evidences are emerging, stating that practicable uses of blockchain are closer than what many health IT and security professionals have predicted. Blockchain holds big potential for overcoming issues of trust and ironing out technology wrinkles in the sharing of clinical and financial data in healthcare. While that is becoming increasingly widely discussed, it’s also true that the distributed digital ledger technology is still somewhat shrouded in mystery and has that futuristic feel about it.
The opportunity for more granular identity management, immutability and proof of provenance are other appealing features that could help improve data quality and security, they said. The groundwork is already being laid for blockchain advances in other industries, and now healthcare should capitalize on some of the headway that’s been made.
Healthcare will benefit from the early work in finance and leverage blockchain applications in finance and supply chains and a few applications based on identity management
– Jody Ranck
Many of those have applications that are market-ready for 2018 but for all the quick advances that seem to be happening with blockchain so far – beyond the hype and over-promises, of which there’s also plenty. working in tandem with other fast-evolving technologies – artificial intelligence, cloud computing – blockchain could well enable fundamental changes in how the industry manages data for care delivery and claims processing. Certain other areas like claims adjudication, care coordination, patient engagement and supply-chain are areas ripe for disruption by distributed ledger-based approaches.