Blockchain Technology in Healthcare - Concepts, Methodologies, and Applications

Blockchain: Blocking Hassles in Healthcare

Author(s): Jyoti Kukreja* and Ahmed Chowdhary

Pp: 115-128 (14)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165197123010009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Healthcare institutions around the world are increasingly reliant on digital databases for the storage of medical data. The unprecedented growth of healthcare data’s scale and velocity has made it of paramount concern for the modern age. Digital databases are vulnerable and adversely affect both the patient and the healthcare industry as a whole. The risk of cyber threats can breach data and disrupt its integrity. Maintaining both data integrity and patient privacy is critical to healthcare organizations. Regulatory frameworks such as GDPR in the EU and HIPAA in the US are both bodies for compliance rules for maintaining healthcare data privacy. Unfortunately, the tendency of healthcare institutions to use proprietary systems creates isolated silos of data that become difficult to secure using traditional methods. A blockchain-based method provides a novel way of securing electronic healthcare records using a decentralized peer-to-peer based network on top of these isolated silos. Each block contains information and links to the other, forming a collective chain. This chain enables it to regulate on its own to store and share information instead of relying on a centralized system. Blockchain has many potential use cases in healthcare applications and can help in patient monitoring, storage, securing data, health information exchange, and clinical trial management, among others. The principle of decentralization and cryptography, at its core, will help transform the Healthcare system by improving the accessibility and security of patient information for the modern age. Through a systematic review of literature on Blockchain and healthcare data, this paper aims to explore the current application methods, challenges faced, open questions, data standards, and compliance issues that are core to implementing a Blockchain-based solution in the Healthcare industry. Further, the present study seeks to explore the concerns and scope of the blockchain experts operating in the healthcare industry. 

Keywords: Blockchain, Cyberthreat, Data privacy, GDPR, HIPAA, Healthcare, Patients privacy.

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