Article Synopsis :
Blockchain has come a long way since it was associated only with Bitcoin. It has been a target for insurtech applications outside financial services and in particular the healthcare sector.
This paper looks at the research into the use of blockchain in healthcare. It determines that the message has moved on from the potential to identifying a number of specific use cases for the technology.
Yet it is still early days, and there is a lack of adequate prototype implementations to show how effective these use cases might prove to be.
Until then, it will be difficult for the healthcare industry to know just how much value blockchain can offer.
The good news is that a number of use cases have been identified, including:
- the management of electronic medical records;
- drugs and pharmaceutical supply chain management;
- biomedical research and education;
- remote patient monitoring;
- health data analytics; and others.
There are a number of blockchain-based prototypes that have been developed within the healthcare arena. These are based on emerging blockchain models, including:
- smart contracts;
- permissioned blockchain;
- off-chain storage, etc.
However, we still need more research in order to better understand, characterise and evaluate the opportunities blockchain technology could deliver to the healthcare industry.
Also, more needs to be done to deal with the challenges that arise from the use of blockchain, which cover scalability, latency, interoperability, security and privacy.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsMuch has been made of the useful application of blockchain within insurtech. There is also growing momentum behind its application within the healthcare industry.
This paper suggests the argument has moved well past the theoretical, but needs some more specific testing and prototyping in order to deliver proof of concepts.
The way this sector is moving, it probably won’t be long before we see this project pick up even more speed.
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