The two mega trends IoT and Blockchain are causing a great deal of hype and excitement in the wider business world. Experts claim that these technological trends are geared up to revolutionize all aspects of our daily lives, however, others stipulate that there is a huge amount of hot air around both domains, and a plenty more is yet to be proved.
If we combine these global trends together and in theory, as a result, we will get an immutable, verifiable, secure and a permanent method of recording healthcare data. A lot of remarkable concepts have been created around blockchain and IoT devices that are already disrupting the existing systems.
The data transactions that occur between different healthcare institutions, service providers, and HIE platforms, the data custodianship gets passed between different parties. In contrary, the transactions made in a blockchain network are nature transparent because every event and activity can be tracked and analyzed by the authorities connected to the blockchain.
“Between $.30 and $.40 of every dollar spent on health care are spent on the costs of poor quality. This extraordinary number represents slightly more than a half-trillion dollars a year. A vast amount of money is wasted on overuse, underuse, misuse, duplication, system failures, unnecessary repetition, poor communication, and inefficiency.” Information Source
Current Industry Challenges:
- As the number of connected devices keeps increasing, the hacking threat surrounding medical devices keep increasing which must be taken on a serious note by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
- FDA in the States have already emphasized on several issues related to OEMs and published a new guidance documenting which focuses on post-market management of cybersecurity in medical devices
- Keeping cyber-attacks and patient data theft in consideration, providers must choose a cutting-edge technology to combat such threats
- Because of such privacy and security issues surrounding medical devices, the manufacturers have only been able to connect with appx. 30% with the IoT devices
- Majority of the global health authorities have already appealed for serialization requirement mandates, which means everyone will have to ensure drug supply chain provenance shortly
Examples of failure with existing Healthcare based systems:
A medical device for medication administration must ensure complete traceability so as to monitor accurate data for Health Information Exchange.
At present, the healthcare data management systems are inefficient and unreliable when it comes to tracking point of failures and accountability. If we talk about medical devices such as infusion pumps, they often operate on 3rd party software or IT systems and in case of any error in medication administration or in warning systems, the regulatory agencies will find out who is responsible. As a result, the providers are charged with hefty fines and in the worst case, they are asked to discontinue the future commercialization.
In scenarios when an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or any other party involved wants to prove that they don’t stand responsible for their equipment failure, there is no such significant method to prove their claims.
Blockchain & IoT: An ecosystem that no malignant actor can bypass
At present, the healthcare data management systems are inefficient and unreliable when it comes to tracking point of failures and accountability. Employing blockchain technology for IoT devices can detect the countless security vulnerabilities that can expose sensitive patient data and confidential reports which might lead to cyber-attacks.
This unique combination of AI and Digital Ledger Technology, healthcare organizations, vendors, doctors as well as patients can keep an audit trail of all the actions taking place. Since the big data analytics make use of predictive modeling, then when combined with blockchain can drastically reduce healthcare costs and enhance the overall patient experience. As a result, blockchain-based IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) will the existing connected health ecosystem and everything else based on the similar concept more reliable and secure.
The IoMT might be the panacea for communities to address this existing overburdened healthcare system which is most likely to be under more stress as the human population continues to grow and new diseases keep surfacing.
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