Written by Shivashish Yadav on   -  6 min read

How blockchain changing healthcare sector and making medical data secure? Explained.


Blockchain is the buzzword of the year, and as this new technology slowly matures, from banking to supply chain logistics, it is ready for disruption. And in healthcare, in particular, there’s a massive opportunity for the blockchain revolution to disrupt and lead a digital transformation. From medical records to pharmaceutical supply chains to smart contracts for payment distribution, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage this technology.

The healthcare industry suffers from an inability to share and exchange information because of complicated agreements between shareholders. The outcome is an inefficient, outdated health care payment process that leads to millions of waste spent resulting from claim errors and disputes.

Now imagine a world where all parties in a business network have access to the same information. That means there's one version of the truth which is always in sync. IBM blockchain solutions can enable just that, simply to find blockchain is a shared distributed ledger. That facilitates the recording of transactions and asset tracking for anything of value.

The shared ledger allows all parties to monitor and analyze the status of an asset in real time, enabling end-to-end tracking.

Four key dimensions of blockchain:

Shared Ledger-

An append-only distributed system of records shared across a business network.

Smart Contracts-

Which are business terms both embedded and executed in a transaction database.


In which all parties agree to the validity of a transaction and commit to the blockchain.


So that transactions are secure, authenticated, and verifiable.

Pending or denying claims because of missing or inaccurate information. Such as patient name, subscriber information, diagnosis, and procedure codes. The term clinical attachments is a concept surrounding the need for additional clinical information. When a payer adjudicating a healthcare claim, the basic premise is that sending a claim without all supporting data is time-consuming, costly and challenging for all parties involved.

Luckily, a blockchain enabled claims process provides transparency into claim requirements and reimbursement rules for all parties. If the agreements between provides patients, payers and government regulators were agreed upon and then stored via smart contracts.

On the blockchain, providers would know exactly what information they needed prior to submitting claims. Proper data format requirements stored on the blockchain would enable providers to easily format the claim data to ensure that all information is entered correctly. This clarity reduces or eliminates claims being returned. Because of insufficient information saving time and effort for all parties involved in conclusion, it's very clear that blockchain will play an increasingly significant role in healthcare IT and bring beneficial disruption and new efficiencies to every stakeholder in the ecosystem.

Three ways to how blockchain will change healthcare as we know it.

1. Health Records

Electronic medical records are the backbone of every modern healthcare system. But your medical records grow longer and become more complex with each visit to your doctor. And since every hospital and every doctor’s office has a different way of storing them, it’s not always easy for healthcare providers to get them. There are already some companies out there, like Patientory, Medibloc, or Medical chain that aim to solve this problem. The goal is to give patients authority over their entire medical history and to provide one-stop access to it for patients and physicians as well. Blockchain would not only simplify and make access more efficient, but inherently bring data security to the field as well.

2. Supply Chains

The pharmaceutical industry has one of the highest standards for product safety, security, and stability. It’s ripe for disruption. For example, supply chain management with blockchain can be monitored securely and transparently. This can reduce time delays and human mistakes. It can also monitor costs, labor, and even waste in emissions at every point in the supply chain. It can also verify the authenticity of products by tracking them from their origin, combating the counterfeit drug market that costs 200 billion dollars in losses to the market annually.

Companies like Chronicled, Block pharma, and Modum are already working towards more efficient blockchain logistic solutions. Modum in particular, works in compliance with EU laws that require proof that medicinal products have not been exposed to particular conditions, especially certain temperatures, which may comprise their quality. Modum’s solution was to develop a sensor that records environmental conditions while physical products are in transit and permanently records it on the blockchain.

3. Genomic Market

Companies like EncrypGen and Nebula Genomics are building blockchain platforms to enable people to share genomic data safely and securely on a new emerging market. They bet that in the future, opportunities around personal genome sequencing will create a data market worth billions of dollars. And what’s the best technology to solve data security issues and to ensure that data gets from the source to its end-user with no middlemen? You are right, it is the blockchain. These companies aim to use blockchain technology to enhance genomic data protection, enable buyers to efficiently acquire genomic data, and address the challenges of genomic big data. These companies are just a few of the dozens of startups that aim to use blockchain to disrupt healthcare. And as it usually is, their marketing is great They promise big, but the jury’s still out on which ones will remain only promises, and which are the few that will become the next big thing.

4. Medical Errors

Causing 400-600k deaths a year in the USA, the trust in medicine is dropping, and rightly so. Accuracy is the main issue. Correct diagnosis is on 80%, correct treatment is on70% approved, and treatment carried out correctly 90%. There are all areas that can be improved exponentially with blockchain. This is the core of medicine, not records, not distribution, not payments. Those are all ancillary to the point of medicine.

It is vitally important that healthcare organizations understand and explore blockchain technology today to ensure that they are ready for the changes sure to come tomorrow.