UPDATED BY
Rose Velazquez | Aug 09, 2022
REVIEWED BY
Omar Bheda | Sep 19, 2022

Blockchain in healthcare is used for everything from securing patient data and managing the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The United States spent almost 20 percent of its GDP on healthcare in 2020 — a record high. If that statistic wasn’t jarring enough, consider that the industry continues to be plagued by high hospital costs, inefficient practices and constant data breaches. These very expensive problems are spurring a drive for greater efficiency and innovation.

Blockchain Healthcare Applications

Blockchain has a wide range of applications and uses in healthcare. Distributed ledger technology facilitates the secure transfer of patient medical records, manages the medicine supply chain and helps healthcare researchers unlock genetic code.

With its ability to deflate the current spending bubble, protect patient data and improve overall experience, using blockchain in healthcare may help ease the pain. The technology is already being used to do everything from securely encrypt patient data to manage the outbreak of harmful diseases. 

These 17 examples of blockchain in healthcare are food for thought.

Blockchain Healthcare Companies to Know

  • BurstIQ
  • MedicalChain
  • ProCredEx
  • Guardtime
  • Chronicled
  • EncrypGen
  • Coral Health
  • Nebula Genomics

 

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Blockchain and Data Security

Keeping our important medical data safe and secure is the most popular blockchain healthcare application at the moment, which isn’t surprising. Security is a major issue in the healthcare industry. There were 692 large healthcare data breaches reported between July 2021 and June 2022. The perpetrators stole credit card and banking information, as well as health and genomic testing records.

Blockchain’s ability to keep an incorruptible, decentralized and transparent log of all patient data makes it a technology rife for security applications. Additionally, while blockchain is transparent, it is also private, concealing the identity of any individual with complex and secure codes that can protect the sensitivity of medical data. The decentralized nature of the technology also allows patients, doctors and healthcare providers to share the same information quickly and safely.

Check out how these four companies are applying blockchain to healthcare security.

 

Location: Foster City, California

Akiri operates a network-as-a-service optimized specifically for the healthcare industry, helping protect transportation of patient health data. The Akiri system does not store data of any kind. It operates as both a network and a protocol to set policies and configure data layers while verifying the sources and destinations of data in real time.

Akiri ensures healthcare data remains secured and shareable with only the parties authorized for access at the moments when they need it.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

BurstIQ’s platform helps healthcare companies safely and securely manage massive amounts of patient data. Its blockchain technology enables the safekeeping, sale, sharing or licensing of data while maintaining strict compliance with HIPAA rules.

Because BurstIQ’s platform includes complete and up-to-date information about patients’ health and healthcare activity, it could help to root out abuse of opioids or other prescription drugs.

 

Location: London, England

Medicalchain’s blockchain maintains the integrity of health records while establishing a single point of truth. Doctors, hospitals and laboratories can all request patient information that has a record of origin and protects the patient's identity from outside sources.

 

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

Guardtime is helping healthcare companies and governments implement blockchain in their cybersecurity methods. The company was vital in helping implement blockchain in Estonia’s healthcare systems, and it signed a deal with a private healthcare provider in the United Arab Emirates to bring blockchain to its data privacy systems.

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blockchain applications healthcare shared database
Image: Shutterstock

Blockchain Medical Records

Waste from factors like administrative complexity and failure of care coordination in U.S. healthcare costs around $760 billion to $935 billion each year

The time consuming process of obtaining access to a patient’s medical records exhausts staff resources and delays patient care. Blockchain-based medical records offer a cure for these ills. 

The decentralized nature of the technology creates one ecosystem of patient data that can be efficiently referenced by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and anyone else involved in treatment. In this way, the blockchain can lead to better diagnoses and personalized care plans. 

These four companies are embracing the concept of blockchain medical records to create shared databases and personalized health plans. 

 

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Avaneer is a company backed by Aetna, Anthem, Cleveland Clinic and other healthcare leaders that is dedicated to using blockchain technology to improve healthcare efficiency. Avaneer uses a public ledger to support better claims processing, secure healthcare data exchanges and keep provider directories maintained and up-to-date.

 

Location: Tampa, Florida

ProCredEx has created a distributed ledger of healthcare credentials data that boosts complex dataset efficiency by rendering the data immutable and permanently traceable. It allows data to be curated to meet unique organizational requirements and shared with authorized partners. 

The platform uses proprietary validation engines and restricts memberships to vetted and approved organizations so health systems can rapidly acquire verified credentials and promote patient safety and care quality.

 

Location: New York, New York

Coral Health uses blockchain to accelerate the care process, automate administrative processes and improve health outcomes. By inserting patient information into distributed ledger technology, the company connects doctors, scientists, lab technicians and public health authorities quicker than ever. Coral Health also implements smart contracts between patients and healthcare professionals to ensure data and treatments are accurate.

 

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Patientory’s end-to-end encryption ensures that patient data is shared safely and efficiently. The company’s platform enables patients, healthcare providers and clinicians to access, store and transfer all important information via blockchain. Patientory helps the healthcare industry move more quickly by housing all patient information under one roof.

 

blockchain applications healthcare supply chain management
Image: Shutterstock

Blockchain and Medical Supply Chain Management

How much do we really know about our medicine? Can we be sure it hasn’t been tampered with? Is it coming from a legitimate supplier? These questions are the primary concerns of the medical supply chain, or the link between the lab and the marketplace

Blockchain has serious implications for pharmaceutical supply chain management, and its decentralization virtually guarantees full transparency in the shipping process. Once a ledger for a drug is created, it will mark the point of origin. The ledger will then continue to record data every step of the way, including who handled it and where it has been, until it reaches the consumer. The process can even monitor labor costs and waste emissions.  

Here are six companies using blockchain to rethink the medical supply chain.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Chronicled builds blockchain networks that demonstrate chain-of-custody. The networks help pharma companies make sure their medicines arrive efficiently, and they enable law enforcement to review any suspicious activity — like drug trafficking. Chronicled also created the Mediledger Project, a ledger system dedicated to the safety, privacy and efficiency of medical supply chains.

 

Location: New York, New York

Embleema is a virtual trial and regulatory analytics platform designed to fast track drug development. Users are recruited to digitally consent to secure, untampered medical data collection, which is then stored on Embleema’s blockchain and analyzed.

Embleema’s platform allows patients to assist in speeding up treatment availability and improving safety, all through the company’s Virtual Studies Suite.

 

Location: Paris, France

Blockpharma offers a solution for drug traceability and counterfeiting. By scanning the supply chain and verifying all points of shipment, the company’s app lets patients know if they are taking falsified medicines With the help of a blockchain-based supply chain management system, Blockpharma says it helps to weed out the 15% of all medicines in the world that are fake.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Tierion’s blockchain audits documents, records and medicines to keep a clear history of possession. The company uses timestamps and credentials to maintain proof of ownership throughout a medical supply chain.

 

Location: Los Angeles, California

SoluLab offers services to support companies with blockchain application development. For the healthcare industry in particular, SoluLab’s solutions can help to determine the authenticity of drugs and medical data by tracing their origin, as well as encrypting data.

 

Location: London, England

FarmaTrust’s blockchain solutions have applications for tracking pharmaceuticals, determining the authenticity of medical devices, and maintaining data security for patients scheduling vaccinations and diagnostic testing. The company’s services help to keep fake drugs out of the supply chain, for example, while also offering an app that lets consumers check medicines are genuine.

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blockchain applications healthcare genetics
Image: Shutterstock

Breakthroughs in Genomics

The potential of genomics to improve the future of human health, once a dream, is now a scientific and financial reality. In 2001, it cost $1 billion to process a human genome. As of 2021, the cost had fallen below $1,000.

Blockchain is a perfect fit for this growing industry as it can safely house billions of genetic data points. It’s even become a marketplace where people can sell their encrypted genetic information to create a wider database, giving scientists access to valuable data faster than ever before. 

These three companies are using blockchain to further our understanding of the most basic building blocks of human life.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Nebula Genomics is using distributed ledger technology to eliminate unnecessary spending and middlemen in the genetic studying process. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies spend billions of dollars each year acquiring genetic data from third parties. Nebula Genomics is helping to build a giant genetic database and incentivize users to safely sell their encrypted genetic data.

 

Location: New York, New York

The EncrypGen Gene-Chain is a blockchain-backed platform that facilitates the searching, sharing, storage, buying and selling of genetic information. The company protects its users’ privacy by allowing only other members to purchase the genetic information using safe, traceable DNA tokens. Member companies can use the genetic information to build upon their genetic knowledge and advance the industry.

 

Location: Palo Alto, California

Doc.ai uses machine intelligence, like AI, to decentralize medicine on the blockchain. Users can opt into the company’s platform to share their medical and genomic data with a community of scientists that use the data for predictive modeling. Doc.ai saves no patient data. Once information is uploaded, encrypted on a blockchain and used in a trial, the data is wiped out in order to ensure security and privacy.

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