Student Dissertation

Agency : Blockchain Technology; Healthcare; Health Records; Health Information Exchange

Objective : The following objectives were undertaken: 1. To understand the architecture of blockchain technology. 2. To study how blockchain can enhance EHR interoperability. 3. To explore the extent of blockchain in health insurance, supply chain and other areas. 4. To identify the opportunities and challenges of blockchain in healthcare.

Background : The blockchain technology is a new open-source technology which was initially launched as the technology for the world’s first global decentralized digital currency, bitcoin. Blockchain is transparent and immutable distributed database which includes data from all the participants involved in it, and since it is immutable it means that the data entered in it cannot be modified and deleted.

Methodology : Systematic review was done for the study. All the journals, articles and reports related to blockchain technology in healthcare were reviewed. The study was done for the duration of three months from NTT Data Services.

Findings : The methods that are being used today for recording, storage and transfer of patient data have a number of disadvantages which does not provide access to patients to their own clinical records, restricts the availability of data to care providers and ultimately presenting a barrier to healthcare. Blockchain technology is an approach to protect health records, and the incremental transition of healthcare organizations from current technology to the blockchain technology, as well as blockchain has been spreading its branches towards health insurance, supply chain, clinical trial and other areas as well. In addition to the extent of blockchain into health insurance, supply chain etc. Blockchain has various opportunities and challenges in healthcare sector such as better privacy and security, no central authority requirement for transfer of patient data, large storage spaces etc. Along with its opportunities it also faces many challenges such as immutability which is being worked upon by the organizations such as Accenture and Deloitte to change it. The paper has elaborated on the standards that are being used by the blockchain system as well as the security methods that are being employed into blockchain. To have a better outlook at how blockchain will work the paper explains the architecture of the Blockchain as well, which helps in understanding the technical part of the blockchain system as well. This paper gives explanatory description about the blockchain technology being evolved into the healthcare sector which can bring about tremendous improvements in terms of data security.


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