Blockchain technology is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions efficiently, permanently, and in a verifiable manner. This technology is used across many industries, mainly the financial sector, food safety, logistics, but also in healthcare.
Blockchain technology reduces complexity, enables easy collaboration, and creates secure and immutable information. This technology has the potential to transform health care, placing the patient at the center of the health care system, and increasing the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data.
But how blockchain technology works?
The technology works on three major principles that are not new at all.
- Private key cryptography – Data is secured, but transactions are open on the network.
- Distributed ledgers – Usually, members of the chain maintain copies of the ledgers. Moreover, all changes made in the ledgers are reflected within minutes, and with the advance of the technology, this timeframe will drop to seconds. Public ledgers are available to the members of the chain, no matter if they maintain copies of the ledgers or merely initiate transactions.
- Authentication – First each new transaction is authenticated, and then ledgers are added to the chain. Algorithms evaluate and verify all the proposed transactions. The information would be encrypted, digitally signed and stored, thereby sealing its authenticity.
What could this technology provide?
Blockchain could provide a new model for health information exchanges by making electronic medical records more efficient and secure. Since records are spread across a network of replicated databases, blockchain provides security benefits for the massive amounts of data that health-care organizations are responsible for managing. Enhanced medical research and simplified financial management are one of the technology’s opportunities.
Blockchain technology can change how healthcare functions and remove frauds from the system. It can also cut operational costs, optimize how data storage, and even eliminate duplicate work. One more thing that blockchain can help with is improving transparency. All this is possible precisely because how this technology is designed to enable anyone to validate data and preserve it for others use.
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Author: Laszlo Varga