10 years after the emergence of Bitcoin and the revelation of the first use case of the Blockchain, this technology continues to generate many misunderstandings, even virulence in the debates. On the one hand, the cantors of a blockchain embodying a form of ultimate panacea for all the misfortunes of the world. On the other, just as vehemently those who only see the blockchain as a simple premium distributed database.
As is often the case, the truth lies in the weighting. If no one in reality now claims that blockchain is just a fashion, blockchain-maximalists are also becoming increasingly rare as technology finds a natural place alongside other innovations of breakthroughs to design the tech environment of tomorrow.
Thus, blockchainse is gradually finding its proper place, that of an efficient tool, whose “Swiss army knife” dimension opens up great potential for it, ready to take it far from the cryptocurrency ecosystem that has seen it. be born and start to grow.
Today Bitcoin welcomes the point of view of Cédric Dubuq, Blockchain specialist lawyer who has covered numerous ICOs and worked extensively on Blockchain and Health issues. Cédric sheds light on the potential benefits of Blockchain technology in the health sector to improve structures, processes and above all the responsiveness of players in the sector, in a new context of a recurrent pandemic which is now imposed on us.
COVID-19 pandemic, a new crisis that calls for new solutions
In memory, never before have we had to endure such liberticidal measures as peace, than during the Covid-19 health crisis. The ancients will remember the dark hours of World War II while the epidemiologists will lecture us that it was to be expected.
Either, it happened. It is our common duty today to prevent the next pandemic case and for this it is essential to concentrate efforts, research and resources. So comes the blockchain, a revolutionary tool ready to meet the challenges of our time.
There are many potential uses of blockchain in health. It will thus be able to intervene at different stages of the crisis, from prevention to management, passing through the potential drifts born as a result.
Blockchain in anticipation of the crisis
The interest of the blockchain will be triple before an eventual health crisis. It will intervene in order to speed up and guarantee the process of authenticating medicines, create consortiums of reflection in order to advance research or even improve the interoperability of actors in the world of health.
Blockchain and drugs: fight against fraud
The use of blockchain in pharmaceuticals will be crucial. Indeed, the challenges involved are numerous. According to the WHO, the fake medicines market generates between 120 and 160 billion euros per year. One in 10 drugs is counterfeit. This can go up to 7 out of 10 medicines in Africa. It’s a global scourge. Faced with this challenge, how could the blockchain intervene?
Traceability is the key. From production to use, or even recycling of the product, all the modifications made will be recorded in a distributed global registry. Thus, there will be irrefutable proof that all the actors concerned have been made aware of the new data or the modified data.
This will restore confidence in the product, in its authenticity. All the players in the pharmaceutical supply chain will then be able to verify the origin and integrity of the drugs.
Similarly, it is conceivable to use a blockchain to store proof of existence of documents. This would be possible for medical prescriptions, who are now subject to fraud. Thanks to the blockchain, pharmacists could thus verify the authenticity of the prescriptions presented to them.
Blockchain and research: boosting thinking
The pharmaceutical field is competitive when the medical world requires cooperation. Here economic and general interest collide. In the sense of the latter, it seems imperative that all medical entities in the world can work in unison because, as we have seen, the shortcomings of a country, in health matters, have consequences for everyone else.
In this joint effort, the creation of a research system combining collaboration and efficiency seems essential. Any researcher will be able, via the use of a blockchain, share his research to receive comments and suggestions from other professionals.
In parallel, a researcher working on a similar project will then be able to share his data with those already transmitted. Connections will then be created which would have been impossible before, encouraging the formation of virtuous circles. In addition, collaborating researchers will be able to recognize everyone’s participation and will then receive an amount commensurate with the work carried out.
Blockchain and communication: improving the interoperability of actors
150,000 lives and $ 18.6 billion a year. These are the human and financial losses linked to the lack of standardization of the various actors of e-health in the world.
This data standardization is the key argument for the development of a blockchain in this sector. It would thus become possible to to connect all the actors of the world of health from the hospital to the patient, through insurance companies or laboratories. All would have access to medical records but also to imagery or real life data in one click, beyond geographic disparities.
The development of this dynamic would make it possible to deal with ever more effective emergency cases in particular. The emergency physician would then have access to all the necessary information: blood group, allergies, recent or ongoing treatments, pregnancy, etc.
This mechanism has been adopted by Estonia since 2017. In fact, 97% of Estonians currently use a “Digital identity card “, Centralizing an electronic medical record usable by all stakeholders at the national level (we had discussed this during the study the potential of identity 3.0, domain where Estonia is particularly at the forefront).
These subjective data are linked to national data, available on government services. It’s one of the most efficient devices for tracking health markers, track epidemics and adapt health resources wisely. This may explain their mortality rate below 2% of those infected during the COVID-19 crisis…
However, despite the implementation of all these devices, we are not immune to the development of a completely new virus, leaving the best scientists in the world speechless. At that point, we will have to act and, once again, we will have to trust technology to save lives.
Blockchain in the management of the health crisis
The novelty of a virus requires treatment to be implemented as quickly as possible. To do this, the complexity of medicine requires large-scale tests to ensure the viability of the proposed solution. This is what is more commonly called clinical tests.
The blockchain could thus have a decisive role in their behavior in the coming years. In addition, insurance companies will be able to directly compensate their customers in this particular context of crisis via smarts contracts. The security contribution of the blockchain in the medical community will ultimately become a guarantor in the fight against potential abuses.
Blockchain, health and clinical trials: testing to treat as soon as possible
As previously mentioned, the blockchain is a tool combining communication and inviolability. This makes it easy to understand its potential for carrying out large-scale clinical trials in different countries as the epidemic spreads.
A dose of trust and of transparency between the patient and the doctor. The first will have their privacy respected when the second can transmit strictly confidential health information. It’s in this sense that Sanofi, 3e a global health group, has commissioned numerous expert reports on the subject.
The interest in the matter, however, exceeds that of the simple crisis framework. For rare diseases, of which there are few patients, it would then become possible to pool analysis data and therefore, once again, to create a research enterprise. In another register, the South Korea used a blockchain to conduct studies on the benefits of medical hemp. The drug being particularly taboo in the Eastern societies, these tests allowed the researchers to carry out their research while guaranteeing consumer anonymity.
Blockchain and insurance: reimburse to reassure
The insurance community is already aware of smarts contracts, especially in the (far too important) area of airline flight delays and cancellations. But in the health sector, this technique is not yet used, at least not optimally.
However, the economic criterion of health is central to the management of the epidemic. The implementation of automated programs with automatic execution would guarantee immediate reimbursement of nursing care, with no cash advance. This would be the most advanced form of our already exemplary social security system. By avoiding the sick, suffering on the one hand from the situation of global economic recession and on the other hand from its potential difficulties, unnecessary and costly complexities, insurance organizations would thus play an essential role in safeguarding purchasing power and therefore in anticipation of the economic crisis following the health crisis.
Blockchain and genetic data management: anticipating potential drifts
To date, although it is not necessarily known, the management of our genetic data does not belong to us. These are the full property of the laboratory which decodes the genome and not the person sampled. And this is problematic because we know the impact and the weight that the datas in our world.
While we all have in mind the recent escapades of Cambridge Analytica and that the greatest experts are trying to create a kind of new “Digital social contract”, we tend to forget that our data is everywhere, far beyond our user and consumer identity.
The implementation of a blockchain architecture, capable of securing our identity, would then make it possible to anticipate any potential crisis related to the leak of personal data.
As we can see, in terms of everyday health or new pandemic management, the blockchain is irreparably the security and confidence solution necessary for our century. Even if some already offer to exchange your genomes for a few tokens …
Nice to meet you, it’s Hellmouth! Editor-in-chief of Bitcoin, the crypto media you are honoring to survey right now (well done, you have taste).
Crypto-enthusiast of the second hour, nothing is more important to me than supporting the global adoption and democratization of the treasures that the blockchain offers us.
I write articles between two cocktails in Tahiti, my adopted island, and do not hesitate, if the opportunity arises, to feast on a plump scam or a little too enterprising Ponzi pyramid.
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