A survey by technology giant IBM revealed that 16% of health care executives are planning to incorporate blockchain technology into their facilities within the next year and with the rising costs of health care, having more efficient operations can help reduce the bottom line, translating to lower costs for patients. As such, here are three ways blockchain technology can change health care operations.

Medical Records and Data Distribution

The use of blockchain has allowed the health care sector to start creating specific applications that take advantage of peer-to-peer data distribution, offering better versatility and security over database systems that are currently in use. Medical record generation can be coded into the blockchain, which could prevent unintentional alterations to a patient’s medical record, resulting in increased data integrity.

As a result, the use of blockchain technology can help pharmacies track their inventory more efficiently, as well as keep better track of dispensing medication to patients. Additionally, blockchain technology can help care providers, such as physicians, specialists, subspecialists, and surgeons share patient information easier for faster expediting.

Accessing patient records through one, verifiable data source also helps to reduce redundancy or file errors during the transmission of information.

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Payment System

Teledactyl, a company based in Wyoming, is developing an original blockchain platform for the health care industry that can not only store and share patient information, but in addition, contains its own unique secure cryptocurrency payment option. Unlike other blockchain systems that use tokens as a form of payment, Teledactyl will utilize its own cryptocurrency payment network.

The network provides a peer-to-peer payment system between the patient and medical provider. The network can reimburse medical providers instantaneously after rendering care and patients will no longer have to rely on third-party insurers or payors.

“The United States healthcare system is in dire need of an efficient method to preserve and protect personal health information, reduce healthcare costs, increase provider access and improve methods of payment—all while bettering patient outcomes. We want to eliminate the discrepancies in our healthcare system that disrupt patient and provider relationships. Everyone should have immediate access to their health records,” said Seth Crapp, M.D., the Teledactyl’s co-founder and chief medical officer.

Clinical Trial Logging

In the beginning of August, health insurance plan provider Anthem and health care technology company doc.ai announced the release of their collaborative healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) data trial on blockchain. The trial itself is set to start this month and will span over the next 12 months.