In the next five to 10 years, a blockchain ecosystem with healthcare-focused use cases will emerge.
Data interoperability, insurance fraud management, drug supply chain provenance, and identity management applications offer growth opportunities, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health team.
That’s conclusion drawn by a new report, “Blockchain Technology in Global Healthcare, 2017–2025,” released by Frost & Sullivan’s Advanced Medical Technologies Growth Partnership Service program. The report took a look at the potential of blockchain to resolve security, data interoperability, drug supply chain, insurance notarization and billing fraud issues. The study looked at adoption, growth, deployment challenges, selected partnerships and companies to watch.
In the next five to 10 years, a blockchain ecosystem with healthcare-focused use cases involving health data exchanges, smart assets management, insurance and payment solutions, blockchain platform providers, and consortiums will emerge, said the study.
Blockchain meet IoT
The report predicts that the convergence of blockchain with AI, IoT and machine learning will provide new opportunities for digital health economies. Blockchain would offer the potential of a shared platform that decentralizes healthcare interactions, which would ensure integrity, security, access control and authenticity. It could also present new value-based care and reimbursement models.
[ Related: IBM: Three Considerations for Blockchain Adoption ]
“Burgeoning connected health devices and the need to protect against data breaches make blockchain, with its ubiquitous security infrastructure, the obvious foundation for emerging digital health workflows and advanced healthcare interoperability,” said Transformational Health Industry Analyst Kamaljit Behera. “Blockchain technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges needs but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current workflows and disintermediating some high-cost gatekeepers.”
Frost & Sullivan’s report also covers the use of blockchain-as-a-service, cryptography, peer-to-peer networking, distributed digital ledgers, decentralized computing, and blockchain AI and augmented, virtual reality systems.
Healthcare needs to rally around blockchain
“The healthcare industry needs to establish blockchain consortia to facilitate partnerships and create standards for future implementation on a large scale across healthcare use cases,” said Behera.
“A blockchain-based system will enable unprecedented collaboration, bolstering innovation in medical research and the execution of larger healthcare concepts. In the pharmaceutical industry, the technology can potentially save $200 billion by inhibiting counterfeit and substandard drugs.”