Blockchain (blockchain) is an electronic ledger where information is kept. Encrypted information is accessible to everyone, but it is a source where modification is not possible. The digital chain is constantly growing, with blocks of code added to the previous one in chronological order. In blockchain technology, which has entered our lives with Bitcoin and has been mentioned in different fields in recent years, invariance and reliability are at the forefront.
Although the first studies on blockchain technology date back to 1991, the article "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" written by a person or a group known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 revealed how this technology can be used in cryptocurrencies. Although the word "blockchain" is never mentioned in Nakamoto's 9-page article, the described process mentions this technology. Since blockchain is a distributed database system that is not dependent on an authority, transparent, decentralized, can be stored, changed and controlled by everyone, over the years, it has turned into a technology where operations such as storage, management, verification and storage can be performed not only in cryptocurrencies but also in many different subjects. . Health field is one of them. Information on financial instruments mentioned on this page is strictly not investment advice.
The amount of new data created in the world is increasing day by day. This also applies to health data. Current technologies are still sufficient for data storage, fast processing of stored data and data security, but it is predicted that some problems will most likely occur within 5-10 years. The rate of increase in the amount of new data created constantly indicates that existing technologies will become slow and costly over time. Therefore, there will be more need for the use of blockchain technology in the future.
Considering its contribution to the field of health in terms of data storage, reducing costs and increasing speed, it is unimaginable how such an innovative technology will have long-term effects. With the emergence of the pandemic, the use of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry has become an option by countries. The positive effects of this technology on issues such as ensuring that people avoid direct contact, saving time, facilitating international cooperation and reducing the density of documents have attracted the attention of the country administrations. From another point of view, the low cost provides an opportunity for the distribution of financial opportunities to different areas.
Blockchain technology allows the elimination of an authority or a central server. By distributing the data to the internet environment, it enables the verification processes to be carried out from many points at the same time, not from a single point. This feature speeds up data processing processes tremendously. It allows patients' health data to be stored regularly, quickly transferred and easily anonymized when necessary. In this way, it becomes possible to access health data (as much as allowed) from anywhere in the world.
It is a very important step for humanity to enable the development of artificial intelligence to establish a relationship between health data and to plan treatment. Considering the quadrillions of health data of billions of people in the digital environment, how fast this is processed by artificial intelligence and how fast the data is associated will directly reflect on treatment practices. In this way, the needs of patients who continue their treatment at home or in the hospital can be determined in advance. The drugs to be used, the necessary medical devices and the treatment to be applied can be determined quickly, and if product supply is required, they can be supplied and made ready automatically in advance. This is why the speed provided by blockchain technology is so important.
There are hundreds of new software using blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. Some of these have created digital assets such as Bitcoin with their own blockchain technologies and have become tradable on stock exchanges. Others are software that stores data on blockchains such as Ethereum. A few examples are given below:
Culinda: It is a blockchain application designed to store the communication data of medical devices with each other and usage information in treatment processes.
Pharmeum: It is a blockchain application used to transfer digital prescriptions and medical data used in drug purchases.
MedRec: It is a blockchain application designed to enable patients to easily share their data with the institutions they allow.
ScalaMed: It is an application with a blockchain infrastructure that aims to bring together drug manufacturers, drug dispensers, pharmacy chains and hospitals in order to prevent fraud on prescriptions, and enables the registration, confirmation and transfer of drugs to be done securely.
Some other companies working on blockchain in the healthcare market:
- Hashed Health
- Medical Chain
- SimplyVital Health
- The Link Lab
- Change healthcare
We are confident that blockchain technology, which has been developing rapidly since 2008, will affect daily life in the near future. Turning into applications that everyone can use not only in financial matters but also in many areas of life seems to be an inevitable process. Especially in the field of health in a short time to revolutionary developments why could it be. Drug and medical device production and distribution processes, patient follow-up and treatment, access to medical records, acceleration of bureaucratic processes, clinical research, communication between medical devices, acceleration of medical and technical services, insurance applications and many similar issues. will speed up.