Understanding The Data Security Solutions Of Blockchain In Healthcare

Understanding The Data Security Solutions Of Blockchain In Healthcare

Blockchain
October 4, 2022 by Diana Ambolis
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While blockchain technology was once predominantly used in the cryptocurrency world, it has quickly become a promising part of the healthcare sector. In this critical field, which has faced a growth in cyberattacks in recent years, blockchain presents an opportunity to strengthen data and network security — especially as healthcare becomes more digitized than ever.
Understanding the Data Security Solutions of Blockchain in Healthcare

While blockchain technology was once predominantly used in the cryptocurrency world, it has quickly become a promising part of the healthcare sector. In this critical field, which has faced a growth in cyberattacks in recent years, blockchain presents an opportunity to strengthen data and network security — especially as healthcare becomes more digitized than ever.

The applications of blockchain in telehealth are limitless, and they can greatly improve the patient experience while giving their medical records the extra protection they deserve. This article will explore how virtual healthcare can be optimized using blockchain, and how the cybersecurity risks associated with this new patient care tech can be mitigated.

Sharing Medical Data Securely

One of the most prevalent use cases of blockchain is its potential to store medical data — as well as payment information like credit card and routing numbers — more securely than ever. While privacy and security have been key concerns in the rise of electronic health record (EHR) systems, blockchain technologies can strongly encrypt data in a way that’s virtually undecipherable by bad actors.

When a patient wants to share their medical records with a third party — for example, with a specialist or with a family member — blockchain can make this transaction more efficient and secure. Only patients and their providers can grant permissions to view EHRs, and blockchain can help facilitate provider credentialing. But once a new provider has access, they can quickly access the information they need to adequately treat their patients — a far cry faster than they would have if they needed to jump through red tape, which was a necessity before data was decentralized.

Improving Record-Keeping

Blockchain doesn’t just make the sharing of healthcare records more secure. It can also guarantee the accuracy of medical records. Each time data is added to the blockchain, it becomes a permanent, unalterable, and time-stamped record that can’t be edited. If updates to medical records are ever needed, they’re stored in addition to the initial record, preserving the original.

As record-keeping improves with the blockchain, it can prove tremendously useful for a variety of situations. For example, a patient can view their medical bills. If an unethical office attempts to sneak in an extra charge, the patient will be able to compare updates to their original documentation.

Blockchain can even help facilitate the delivery of pharmaceuticals along the supply chain and to patients. Since it’s virtually impossible to manipulate data on the blockchain, this can prevent prescriptions from being stolen or lost in transit.

Preventing DDoS Attacks

Many of the modern technologies used in the healthcare field — including many remote monitoring devices — are Internet of Things technologies that are susceptible to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These unique cyberattacks begin at these edge devices and can cause major disruptions for an entire medical practice.

While DDoS shields can secure your network, you can further mitigate the risk of DDoS attacks by leveraging blockchain data storage for your IoT systems. This greatly limits the number of people who can access data on these notoriously unsecure devices, which can help your office remain HIPAA-compliant and avoid costly fines.

Similarly, as people continue to leverage more telehealth — for instance, by booking teledermatology appointments through online patient portals — providers will continue to benefit from introducing blockchain technologies across their digital ecosystem.

Also, read – 5 Reasons Not to Be Scared of Crypto Trading

Reducing Fraud

Blockchain tech can play a key role in reducing fraud and coding issues in the medical field. Instead of requiring a lengthy medical billing process that leaves room for fraudulent charges, even if accidental, patients can directly validate the medical services they receive. Overall, blockchain adds transparent, instantly accessible billing and payment records to the patient experience that traditional medical billing software doesn’t provide.

Blockchain can also reduce fraudulent results in medical research. Since clinical trial records will be well-recorded and unchangeable once stored in the blockchain, it can become much more difficult for healthcare, pharmaceutical, and healthcare-adjacent companies to change their recorded patient outcome. For instance, results switching becomes virtually impossible, so bad actors can’t make overwhelmingly positive claims for harmful or ineffective treatments. This can create a safer medical landscape while enhancing consumer trust in approved treatments.

Blockchain Is a Must for Cybersecurity

Hospitals and other medical practices around the world are increasingly being targeted by cyberattacks, both due to the rise of technology in the field and the amount of sensitive data they regularly handle and store. Naturally, blockchain has become an exciting data storage solution that offers added protections, like uneditable records, while also enhancing the efficiency of secure data sharing.

When implemented in IoT technologies like remote monitoring devices, blockchain technologies can even ward against one of the most common types of cyberattacks (DDoS attacks). However, more simply, it can be a big step in boosting transparency throughout the medical field — including for patients who once had to step over hurdles to access medical and billing records — so bad actors have fewer chances to take advantage of patients and practices.