Healthcare Information Exchange Through Blockchain-Based Approaches

Healthcare Information Exchange Through Blockchain-Based Approaches

Rajit Nair (Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal, India) and Amit Bhagat (Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0186-3.ch014


Blockchain is one of the fastest growing and most important technologies in the world. Most of the people think that blockchain is all about cryptocurrency or bitcoin, but it is beyond that. It is a technology that creates immutable and distributable data records that are shared between peers in network database systems and records digital events in such a way that it cannot be altered or recognized until it reaches the recipient. In recent times, many of the industries are using blockchain as a tool to innovate their functionality. Some of the well-known industries are banking sector, real estate, healthcare, internet of things, insurance, and many more. Out of these industries, healthcare is one of the industries that is adopting blockchain very rapidly. This chapter will discuss the blockchain and how it has transformed the healthcare industry.
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Healthcare industry is one of the fast growing industries in the world (Groves, Kayyali, Knott, & Kuiken, 2013). Day by day new innovations are taken place in this industry to provide better results. Due to these innovations average life expectancies has been increased. First of all we will discuss about the blockchain later on we will see how blockchain is performed in healthcare industry because by adopting blockchain we can develop new and efficient record system related to healthcare, wearable devices (Haghi, Thurow, & Stoll, 2017), examination systems those are based on artificial intelligence (Buchanan, 2005), cryptography (Stallings, 2011) and many more. According to survey taken by Hyper ledger’s, 42.9% of healthcare organizations assumes that interoperability of digital records will use for faster blockchain implementation and out of this 28.6% have responded to use this technology in recent times. Still there is lot of improvement needed for seamless adoption of blockchain in healthcare (Mettler, 2016). Blockchain based approaches laid the foundation for Bitcoin and after that it has become more popular (Underwood, 2016). Nowadays blockchain is used almost in every area whether it is related to banking sector (Wright, 2015), agriculture sector (Tripoli & Schmidhuber, 2018), health sector (Dhillon et al., 2017), Internet of Things (IoT) (Christidis & Devetsikiotis, 2016) and so on. In today’s world, health sector is one of the most important area in which block chain is used and it will become the biggest sector by year 2023. So in this chapter we will discuss how blockchain is extensively used in health sector. Blockchain technology is based on distributed approach with immutable functionality which means information will not get change till it reaches to the recipient. Due to increase number of patients, it is very much needed that we must safely keep the information like Patient health record, electronics health records, medical insurance claims, data collected from IOT devices and monitoring system. To keep these information safe blockchain plays an important role and one of the major advantages is data integrity.

Let’s Discuss what is Blockchain?

Blockchain is simply a time stamped series of immutable data or records that is handles by cluster of systems and are not owned by single entity. Each of these data is in the form of blocks and these are kept secured by using cryptographic principles (Panasenko & Smagin, 2013). Immutable data means which cannot be altered or modify during transaction. Some of the important features of blockchain are as follows:

  • Blockchain is not owned by single authority that’s why it is decentralized.

  • Each and every block which takes part are storing the cryptographically data.

  • It is immutable means no one can tamper the data which is contained in the form of block chain.

  • Due to its transparency nature we can trace the data vey easily whenever needed.

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