Blockchain Healthcare Information Exchange, A Sustainable Decentralized Framework managing Medical Records:

by Christina Roopa

Centralized System:

Over a decade ago, the companies started choosing a distributed problem-solving model through open tender for solutions, which has brought significant changes in the way they work. This is called crowdsourcing, where a company, termed as Requester, place a task/request through a centralized crowdsourcing system, and there are experts, termed as workers, who pick the task and work on the solution. The company then can pick the best solution and pay the respective worker according to the centralized system.

However, the centralized crowdsourcing system is prone to face security issues. There are major challenges faced with regards to data management, as sensitive information such as name, email address, a phone number can be disclosed. Even worse the system itself can be hijacked. Apart from this, the conflict management between the requester and the worker can become difficult as the centralized system is attributed to providing the solution. Finally, this may lead to the requesting being highly charged as the centralized system may demand a high fee.

Decentralized Framework:

When it comes to healthcare services, the sensitivity of handling the customer information becomes very crucial, as they not only comprise of personal information but also their medical reports. Therefore considering the centralized crowdsourcing system may not be recommended as a solution. Based on the challenges that may be faced through the centralized system, a decentralized framework is apt for managing the medical records.

Blockchain technology restricts the recorded transaction/information to be accessible to only relevant users and makes the data nearly impossible to be amended or changed by hackers. In simple words it is a decentralized system that allows the appropriate users to access the system under the given guidelines and adherence to the security system, hence making the information very secure.

Advantages of the Blockchain Decentralized Framework:

There are the most significant advantages of the Blockchain decentralized framework, making it more reliable in exchanging medical records:

• Blockchain technology can verify and secure the medical records while blocking the hackers from tampering with any document related to the records.

• The technology allows the data to be accessible to the patient’s network, such as the patient itself, family members, and the physician who handling the patient’s health.

• The system can include every detail related to the patient accurately, such as the consultation, drugs recommended, diagnosis, every report, such as scanning, MRI, and surgery, making the records more efficient and reliable.

• The records maintained and visible by the case related network, helps in avoiding any single point of failure

• Patients have total control over their medical records

• Since every detail has been added, it becomes vital for timely update of the record, making it consistent and easily accessible

However there could be certain challenges that can be faced, such as the medical service may have to adhere to the Data Protection Act, keeping a keen watch on the right customer data, and also since the medical records are prone to be huge and prolonged, can make the system slow. However, maintaining the data securely and yet accessible to the concerned person is indeed plays a significant role in health care services.