There’s no shortage of people who are just discovering cryptocurrencies and how investing in Bitcoin or altcoins can potentially help them grow their money. The disruptive capabilities of cryptocurrencies have been long touted by the early adopters of blockchain technology, many of whom are now reaping the benefits of acting on their hunch that digital coins will be widely exchanged in the future.
However, the current craze for crypto is not just shaking up the financial industry, but it’s also inspiring drastic changes in healthcare. Using cryptocurrencies to carry out and complete medical-related financial transactions, according to a number of business magazines, can revolutionize the healthcare industry and usher in an era where medical facilities and professionals can focus their operation and practice on the health and well-being of patients.
Cryptocurrencies: From Disrupting Financial Systems to Improving Patient Care
How can a financial innovation contribute to the betterment of healthcare services? To answer this question, it’s important to understand the technology behind cryptocurrency. This asset is based on blockchain technology, which is a distributed system that stores and generates blocks of information. Every transaction that makes use of cryptocurrencies is recorded in a digital ledger, and this information is replicated in all the devices that are connected within the same blockchain system.
Any change done on a connected local device is recorded in a data block, assigned a unique identifier, and added to the repository of replicated information in the blockchain system. This, in turn, prevents manipulation and falsification of data. If you have a dedicated device or a wallet for storing digital coins, like an XMR wallet when dealing with Monero, then you can take part in this system and exchange and trade crypto coins yourself.
Using decentralized currencies in the medical setting can significantly reduce costs for both patients and their healthcare providers, as security and privacy features are built into the system that makes cryptocurrency exchanges possible. Depending on their choice of currency, patients and healthcare systems can settle their financial responsibilities without sacrificing their anonymity or sharing their personal and health information with third-party providers. By accepting cryptocurrencies as payment, medical systems can also make their services more accessible to a wider group of people, particularly those who invest their money in decentralized currencies.
Aside from billing, though, blockchain technology can also be harnessed to increase data security within a medical organization.
Exploring the Applications of Blockchain Technology in the Medical and Insurance Industries
Information breaches that involve medical systems and insurance providers happen all the time, and many insurance and healthcare facilities are taking active steps to improve the security and integrity of their databases. Blockchain systems—the very technology that’s used to generate and exchange digital coins safely—provide a secure option for storing and accessing patient information.
There are companies that are invested in using blockchain technology to store and exchange patient information while minimizing the risk of security breaches and data tampering. Using blockchain technology in this manner can greatly reduce the threat of communication and organizational mishaps.
A decentralized information system that’s equipped with automation capabilities can update records every time a patient requires medical services, thus streamlining the recording and data management process. At the same time, because only the intended recipients can access patient data, medical professionals can easily request information without worrying if identifying patient details can be seen, collected, or used by unconcerned parties.
In addition to managing patient information, the efficiency offered by blockchain technology can be utilized to trace the flow of medical supplies, keep track of diseases and outbreaks, and even incorporate the use of mobile medical devices like phones and smartwatches. These functions suggest that blockchain systems have potential applications not just in providing better medical care to patients, but also in preventing injuries and reducing risks for preventable health conditions.
It’s worth noting, though, that the process of applying blockchain technology in a medical setting is still in its infancy. While there are service providers that are focused on developing blockchain-based systems for medical organizations, there are still a number of concerns that these innovative companies should address in the future.
For example, because details that are recorded in a blockchain-based database cannot be altered, technology companies must have protocols in place to prevent inaccuracies before they become a permanent part of a patient’s record. This entails strengthening the system’s identity verification and authentication solutions and having protocols in place to prevent crimes that are carried out through zero-day attacks and social engineering.
Still, incorporating solutions powered by blockchain technology in a medical setup can be the step in the right direction that patients and medical providers need, especially now that healthcare costs and the occurrence of information breaches are on the rise. Looking into this technology as early as now will help medical organizations determine if they can indeed use cryptocurrency and other related technologies to improve the level of service they can offer their patients and the rest of the community.