The healthcare industry is currently worth over $8 trillion, making it one of the largest industries in the world. And although one would hope that an industry sector so crucial to the well being of humankind, would itself be immune from the inefficiencies that plague other verticals, this is unfortunately not the case.
From overprescribed drugs, misdiagnosis and fraud, there is a near endless list of areas within the health sector that are far from perfect, and what's more, research shows that simply increasing spending levels does not guarantee better results.;
For example, a 2018 Deloitte survey cited that
“the United States, at 16.9 percent of GDP in 2016, continues to spend considerably more on health care than comparable countries but it is in the lower half of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries’ life expectancy rankings.”
Therefore the answer it would seem is to reevaluate current policies, practices, systems and software, with a view to identifying areas of improvement through innovation. And this is where blockchain comes in.
For example, collecting and sharing data within the health sector has always been a challenge, although we have seen huge advances being made over the past decade, such as the insurgence of mobile computing within hospitals, which has allowed physicians and nurses to both review and update patient records on the move, while the adoption of digital data management systems over their paper-based predecessors has drastically improved communications.
However many issues, such as that of securely sharing data outside ring-fenced internal networks, whilst ensuring their accuracy still remain.