Blockchain in the Indian healthcare system
Dr R. Sriram, Assistant Professor, Information Systems & Parth Gupta, PGDM 2019-21 recently published an article in Forbes titled, "Blockchain in the Indian healthcare system".
The healthcare system is shifting its focus to a newer model - value-based care, a complete overhaul from the traditional volume-based care system. While the traditional model focuses on charging patients based on the services provided irrespective of their medical significance, value-based healthcare focuses on more customized patient-centric services. Two major transformational changes include affordable treatment and superior healthcare services, using big data. Industry revolution 4.0 relies on big data and so does the healthcare system - clinical trials, drug testing, patient data management, patient engagement, remote patient monitoring, etc. However, huge costs are being incurred for storing and processing of such big data. Additionally, the mishandling of the health records and data breaches has raised a lot of data privacy concerns and led to erosion of trust in the current health regulatory practices.
A country’s expenditure on healthcare as a proportion of GDP is considered as one of the important indicators for the overall population health. India’s current spending on healthcare is <4% of the total GDP, compared to the top 10 countries (of OECD), which spends on an average >10%. Electronic Health Record, which plays a crucial role in processing and analyzing patients’ medical records to provide better quality care, in India, specifically, is practised in an unstandardized manner. Healthcare providers face challenges in terms of maintaining data immutability and privacy, with respect to data sharing with relevant stakeholders. Different healthcare institutions use different models and their own set of codes, which also makes it hard to achieve interoperability. This issue is further escalated when patients change their service providers due to unforeseen reasons. Patients’ are forced to redo their medical tests and treatment processes, which adds to the overhead costs and also to their frustration. This can be addressed to a major extent through the use of Blockchain technology. To read more, click here