The Future of Digitalised Health Records

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8 May 2022
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Health records are taboo and for no good reason. Let’s face it. Health record management could be significantly more efficient; it normally takes too much time to capture and process medical data. Several medical activities are duplicated or the same data has to be entered into various information databases. And don’t get me started on the latency to require some data or misfiling.

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

A paper-based system for your patients’ medical records makes it easier for an unauthorized person to access them without your knowledge. During the course of a busy day, an employee might leave a patient’s file out instead of putting it back in the filing cabinet, for example. Or someone misfiles the information, which is even worse for the patients in question.

Solving the Issue

Health care professionals are required to maintain accurate health records of patients. Furthermore, these records should be shared across different health care organizations for professionals to have a complete review of medical history and avoid missing important information. Nowadays, health care providers use electronic health records (EHRs) as a key to the implementation of these goals and the delivery of quality care.

With an EHR system, you can control precisely who has access to patient information and when.


Private blockchain configurations ensure that only permitted parties gain access to requiring personal data stored on the blockchain via cryptography. Each record holds a unique hash function making the network immutable and irreparable. If one would want to temper with the original record, this will result in a different hash function and a new pair of cryptographic keys to decrypt the file.
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash


The decentralized nature of blockchain means that IoT devices can interact directly with each other, without going through a centralized server.

Control and transparency

Frankly, not much thought has been given as to who should own the medical records. People often get irritated by privacy theft and misbehavior, yet when dealing with our medical history and records, our instincts tell us to trust the doctors, to trust the system.

Here’s when blockchain comes in. Since all transactions, deals, and costs can be incorporated in the private network connecting health care providers to patients via smart contracts, trust and transparency are engraved in the network.
IoT — we could promote the Internet of Things edge devices at the consumer level to adopt remote monitoring where various sensors can be imposed to measure one’s vital signs. That would give us more insights and visibility into health records, enabling more preventative care. Each edge device would represent one node in this network whereby all data is stored securely on the blockchain. In addition, we could even incorporate AI for preventive care.

ARMED Vital Signs Monitoring

ARMED is a remote monitoring system that offers care teams immediate insight into their patients' state of health. A…
www.armedprevention.co.uk

Proof of Authority

Deriving consensus for such blockchain networks, one must think of a mechanism that relies on not stacking or computational power, yet on verification. In 2017, Proof of Authority has been theorized by Gavin Wood, the Co-Founder of Ethereum.

PoA is also referred to as the Identity Mechanism


The Proof of Authority relies on a limited number of block validators and this is what makes it a highly scalable system. Participants serve as pre-approved moderators of the system in which they maintain the validity of the transactions and blocks. It enables organizations to maintain their privacy while indulging all utilities of the blockchain network.

Conclusion

We have yet to come up with a secure way to store our medical records in a way that puts patients in the driver's seat with regard to control and transparency. The obstacles are immense, but it leads to a more promising health care future.

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7 Comments

B
RCBEST
I reckon this would be actually game changing. I have been travelling around and the transfer of your vaccination record from one country to another is quite a hassle…
Miguel
I'm all for patients having greater control over their medical data, but I think there's still a lot of room for improvement in blockchain technology and health care relation. Thanks for the great information!
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