Data blocking technology, better-known as blockchain, has the potential to generate radical health care changes where the patient is in the first place. This technology enhances the safety and interoperability of health data and sets up a new model for the exchange of health information by creating electronic medical records that are more effective and interactive. Although data blocks are not a solution for all, new areas of development show the potential for experimenting, investing and testing the concept of this new technology.
How does it work?
The blockchain is a constantly growing list of records called blocks that are linked and protected by cryptography. At the core, data blocks are a network-linked system of records of prior information blocks and transaction data for these blocks. The technology is based on cryptographic methods that allow each participant in the block-exchange process to store, exchange or view information about them, without the need to trust other participants. This technology does not have a centralized system, instead, transactions are stored and distributed over the network to all participants. When a transaction occurs, all participants are informed of it and their confirmation is required before the transaction information is added to the blocks. This eliminates the need for mutual trust among the participants on the network, while the unambiguous audit trail of all interactions is recorded. Only updating of future records is permitted, which allows the system to be (relatively) safe and therefore reliable. This also means that the entire chain can act as a secure book.
Now, we can learn about interesting events in the entrepreneurial Wellness Camp. The medical staff, who monitored the participants’ life habits, made key mistakes in recording their observations. A good example was the height of one of the participants, which was recorded as 147 centimeters instead of 157.
Thus, the participant recorded in his record as too thick. Similarly, it happened with another participant who incorrectly recorded blood pressure data. Despite the fact that the staff of both faults abolished, we were left with the question of how many similar errors are occurring every day in the healthcare system and what their consequences can be. In addition to preventing such errors, the data block system could allow for the long-term preservation of medical data and could also provide guidance to healthcare providers that collect this data. Experiences from other countries are similar. US-based health organizations have spent about 93 billion dollars over the last five years alone for data sharing costs.
Are you surprised?
It is necessary to recognize that medical databases can be very complex – partly because of the non-linear nature of diagnosis and treatment, as well as because of different health standards in different regions of the world. Likewise, the availability and exchange of medical information may be limited by the laws on the protection of private data and other related laws. In many countries, the patient does not have complete access to his own medical records.