How Blockchain Can Potentially Transform Healthcare

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    October 19, 2018 at 06:17
    Blockchain technology may potentially transform the healthcare industry. While that statement might sound like hyperbole, industry leaders are quickly sizing up the technology’s advantages. In theory, blockchain technology has the capacity to change the power dynamics between patient and provider. It also offers providers opportunities for better communication and collaboration between providers. The three areas below best reflect these changes.

    Healthcare Data Accessibility

    The general public continues to lose trust in how companies manage their personal data. This is particularly true with online data, where the desire for individual data ownership is quickly gaining steam, Blockchain technology promises to make such desires a reality, impacting multiple industries in the process. Foremost among these is the healthcare industry, where concern for personal privacy and data security remain paramount.

    Whereas patients must invest considerable trust in their healthcare provider, blockchain technology enables patient data to securely exist outside their control. In brief, distributed ledger technology ensures that the patient controls access to such data via a private key. Moreover, add-on solutions exist to customize what data is viewed. As Matt Jackson from the Institute for Governance explains:

    The most interesting feature of blockchain in the health sector is the ability of patients to own and control their own health information. If all this information was linked to an identity patients control, they could decide who gets to see what. Maybe a knee specialist doesn’t need to access your sexual health history. Blockchain could allow for this level of personal control. (medium)

    Given the current healthcare paradigm, the notion that patients should control their own health data seems somewhat radical. This idea is nonetheless consistent with current trends, particularly those that seek to foster personal ownership and autonomy. Indeed, the move may very well promote interactions that are more transactional than personal in scope. On the flip side, the records burden that currently rests with providers will be greatly alleviated.

    Healthcare Data Security

    Electronic medical records currently reside in what can best be described as small centralized data silos, As such, the data is easily prone to hackers, as the growing number of medical record thefts attest. At first glance, medical records might seem an unlikely target for hackers. However, these records contain insurance information as well as social security data, driver’s license, and credit card numbers. All of which can be sold for a $1,000 on the darknet.

    Blockchain technology prevents data breaches by eliminating any single point of failure. Unlike a client-server system, the blockchain relies on a distributed network and is thus far less susceptible to hacking. While more sophisticated attacks occasionally occur (e.g., 51% Attacks, Sybil attacks), technological advances will make their likelihood vanish as well (as will be explained below).

    Healthcare Systems Interoperability

    While securing patient data is critically important, being able to seamlessly exchange such data is essential as well. At present, the various healthcare IT systems in existence are obliged to contend with various incompatible medical records systems. Blockchain technology can resolve this dilemma by serving as the common backend for data access. Once implemented, industry leaders natural next step would be to create a master patient index. However, as noted by one health IT company president:

    The primary challenge in accurately matching patient records to a master patient index is the lack of a global or universal patient ID. As a distributed ledger, blockchain can keep track of what’s changed in a patient record and even assign a universal patient ID — but it cannot identify the correct patient unless all systems that would interact with this central blockchain database can supply the correct universal patient ID whenever a change is made to the patient record. (

    To achieve this, the medical records industry would first need to standardize its data identifiers. Unfortunately, call for standardizing these records have gone unheeded for years. However, the blockchain somewhat diminishes the disincentives in this regard (particularly system incompatibility). Nonetheless, the patient-control over health data will inevitably come about, despite the regulatory and political speed bumps along the way (like the US funding ban on creating a unique patient identifier).

    XTRABYTES Can Resolve Industry Challenges

    As a blockchain development platform, XTRABYTES’ code-agnostic nature may be particularly appealing to the healthcare industry. This is especially true for healthcare developers intent on deploying a blockchain in the programming language of their choice. The XTRABYTES platform enables developers to create DApps (decentralized applications) in any language and deploy them on the XBY network. Their blockchain can then interact with the DApp they have deployed. They may even elect to store their DApps data in XTRABYTES’ X-VAULT, a decentralized cloud storage module.

    For any industry that values data security, the XTRABYTES network is even more appealing. Their blockchain does not rely on untrusted, randomly selected peer-to-peer network nodes to sign and create transaction blocks. Instead, their trusted STATIC nodes network relies upon node consensus to move transactions forward. It’s these STATIC nodes that validate and sign-off on every transaction.

    By using multiple STATIC nodes to validate transactions, this XTRABYTES network is impossible to hack. Creating a fake STATIC signed block would require all private keys held by the STATIC nodes to be known. Moreover, if a hacker seeks to take over a network node, that rogue node will fail to achieve consensus with other STATIC nodes and will be asked to correct itself. If it does not, it will be blacklisted from moving forward.

    Healthcare industry leaders are only beginning to consider the many advantages that blockchain technology offers. As with any new technology, they will be attracted to solutions that are both versatile and secure. The XTRABYTES platform offers those features in spades and will engender exciting new application developments as a result.

    Would you like to know more?

    We don’t just publish articles, XTRABYTES is a whole new blockchain platform that allows DApps to be programmed in any language, utilizing a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Signature. In doing so, XTRABYTES presents a next – generation blockchain solution capable of providing a diverse set of capabilities to the general public.

    You can learn more on our website, where you can also help to spread the word through our bounty program and get rewarded in XFUEL, or join our community and hop into the discussion right now!







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  2. Jery
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    February 12, 2019 at 04:41
    Blockchain has already started to transform healthcare - many companies in the healthcare sphere have accepted blockchain