Blockchain Technology in the Healthcare Industry 

Jenny Handwerk |

Blockchain Technology in the Healthcare Industry 


Blockchain is used in healthcare for various purposes, including patient data security and pharmaceutical supply chain management. 

The United States spent around twenty percent of its GDP on healthcare in 2021, and is expected to rise as high hospital prices, inefficient practices, and frequent data breaches plague the business. These costly issues are fueling a desire for increased efficiency and innovation.

Blockchain technology can improve health care by prioritizing patients and improving data security, privacy, and interoperability. This technology can potentially revolutionize health information exchanges (HIE) by increasing electronic medical records' efficiency, disintermediation, and security. While not a cure-all, this new, fast-expanding field offers fertile ground for exploration, investment, and proof-of-concept validation.​


What is blockchain, and how might it benefit healthcare?


This technology for health information exchange could unlock the full potential of interoperability. Blockchain-based systems can significantly reduce or eliminate the friction and costs associated with present intermediaries.

The potential of blockchain has far-reaching consequences for stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. Capitalizing on this technology offers the ability to integrate disparate systems, generate insights, and improve the value of care. In the long run, a statewide blockchain network for electronic medical records might increase efficiencies and help patients achieve better health results.


Blockchain and Healthcare Data Security


Keeping medical data safe and secure is now the most popular use of blockchain in healthcare, which is unsurprising. Security is a main concern in the healthcare industry. Between July 2021 and June 2022, 692 major healthcare data breaches were reported. The thieves took credit card information, banking information, and health and genomic testing reports.


What are the Benefits of Blockchain in Healthcare?


Blockchain technology has the potential to help the healthcare business significantly. Over the last 30 years, the healthcare business has been impacted by implementing centralized data systems, health data regulation, and a order to focus on digitizing medical data in collaboration with various electronic medical record (EMR) service providers.


Patients waste valuable time and resources seeking unnecessary medical care due to the inability to securely share data and the fragmented medical information administration. In an emergency, physicians and other healthcare providers may not have complete access to a patient's medical history, putting them in danger of receiving incorrect treatment.

Blockchain Healthcare Use Cases in Digital Health


Supply chain transparency

A significant challenge in the healthcare sector, as in many others, is determining the provenance of medical supplies to verify their legitimacy. Using a blockchain-based system to trace commodities from the manufacturing to each stage of the supply chain provides customers with complete insight and transparency into the goods they purchase.


Patient electronic health records

Data break is a problem that affects healthcare systems worldwide, leaving patients and medical professionals with an incomplete view of a patient's medical history. Creating a blockchain-based medical record system that can be connected with current EMR software to offer a comprehensive, unified view of patient data is one possible solution to this problem.


Medical staff secure credential verification

Similar to tracking the source of a medical good, blockchain can be used to track the experience of professionals in the healthcare industry, allowing trusted medical institutions and healthcare organizations to log their employees' credentials, thereby streamlining the hiring process for healthcare organizations. 


How will blockchain impact patient consent management?


Blockchain technologies provide organized data ownership via privacy and authorization layers built into Ethereum. While patients cannot edit or delete specific medical information that doctors enter into their profiles, they can limit access by allowing full or partial exposure to other partners in the healthcare ecosystem. Patients, for example, may share their whole record with a medical professional while simply sharing non-identifiable data with scientific research firms or other bigger healthcare institutions.


While blockchain may improve IT security in healthcare, many use cases are still in their early stages of development, and it is unclear whether blockchain will be the appropriate tool to deploy. Blockchain is worth considering for digital health organizations looking to assure the security of remote monitoring devices, but only as part of a much larger end-to-end security strategy.