6 realistic use cases for blockchain in healthcare

There are six key ways the healthcare industry will likely put blockchain to use in the short-, medium-  and long-term, according to a report from market research firm CB Insights.

CB Insights evaluated emerging use cases for blockchain in healthcare, based on projects already underway, scalability requirements and necessary safeguards. Blockchain describes a permanent ledger of online transactions or exchanges, which, unlike a traditional database, is shared among a network of users rather than being maintained by one central party.

"For all the hype, there's no question that blockchain's distributed ledger technology can offer real value for the healthcare industry," the report reads. "Blockchain could help solve some of the industry's most pressing compliance, interoperability and data security issues, as well as enable new patient-centric business models."

Here's a potential roadmap CB Insights outlined in its report:

Short-term applications

  • Healthcare consortia and managing provider information
  • Drug supply chain

Medium-term applications

  • Claims management, payments and prior authorization
  • Health information exchanges and research data
  • Research and trial design

Long-term applications

  • Universal identities, patient health records and app services

To read CB Insights' report, click here.

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