Blockchain technology has a place in any commercial network. It avoids allowing a single central to coordinate and approve transactions within the network. Although the technology of blockchain has a steep learning curve, the application potential of blockchain in the medical field is huge, far beyond the scope of the financial industry. Although the perfect application of blockchain seems to be in the future, some pilot projects are under way. The following are the main trends of blockchain in the field of health care in 2020.
Add blockchain use cases on the medical supply chain
Blockchain technology will play a greater role in supporting supply chain digitization and improving transparency and efficiency. From manufacturers to retailers, healthcare organizations can track products through the supply chain to ensure the authenticity of products or mark events that may cause damage during transportation, such as signs of tampering, extreme environmental conditions or careless handling. If manufacturers find quality problems with equipment or drugs, blockchain can help suppliers speed up recall by quickly determining the location of inventory that needs to avoid circulation in the supply chain.
The FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (dscsa) aims to strengthen the regulation of counterfeit, stolen, contaminated or other harmful drugs. Some pilot projects under dscsa have tested how blockchain can ensure information sharing among medical enterprises. For example, KPMG, IBM, Merck and Walmart have been selected as pilot projects to explore the use of blockchain technology to improve the security of prescription drug supply and distribution. More companies began to implement blockchain technology to respond to dscsa. Genentech is a branch of Roche Group. Pfizer, McKesson and amerisourcebergen are cooperating with the mediledger project launched by the blockchain. The mediledger project is creating a platform that allows manufacturers to track their products based on secure supply chain data and demonstrate compliance with dscsa.
Closely integrated with other IT innovations
It innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud solutions and blockchain implementation will be regarded as complementary technologies that can accelerate the adoption of new technologies. The new hybrid cloud customer solution provides highly scalable public cloud applications and services, while placing personal medical data behind the enterprise firewall to meet regulatory requirements. The use of artificial intelligence goes beyond traditional analysis. It extracts insights by identifying the patterns and correlations of a large amount of data stored in the hybrid cloud and safely organized on the blockchain platform. By integrating into many Internet of things devices and wearable devices, blockchain has the potential to reveal population trends, accelerate the research and development of the medical industry, and finally improve the prognosis of patients in the near future.
Faster growth in emerging markets
Emerging economies are very supportive of blockchain and will increase investment in 2020. More manufacturing oriented countries (especially Asia) will benefit from the implementation of blockchain. The Chinese government has positioned itself as the blockchain field with the most patents related to blockchain. The State Council of China has incorporated the development of blockchain into the national “13th five year plan”. On 2019, China’s president Xi Jinping said the block chain would play an important role in building China’s strength in cyberspace, developing digital economy and promoting economic and social development. In addition, more countries will establish blockchain based medical systems. Estonia has become the first country to use blockchain for health care nationwide. After Estonia, the UAE formulated a plan in 2018 to use blockchain technology to improve all aspects of citizens’ life, such as banking, transportation and medical care. The plan makes the country hope to become a fully functional blockchain based government by 2021. The healthcare platform provides a data sharing solution that enables health professionals, including doctors, pharmacists, technicians and local licensed health authorities, to save and share evaluation information.
Responsible editor: CT