Providing fertile ground for blockchain innovation

The strain placed on healthcare teams and networks over the past few months has been severe, pushing dedicated medical professionals to the limit as they work tirelessly to combat COVID-19 in communities around the world. The crisis has permeated every facet of society, shining a spotlight on the glaring inefficiencies within the traditional global healthcare system and illustrating the inherent need for technology-driven initiatives that can alleviate pressure on healthcare professionals and ensure patient data collation is as streamlined and secure as possible.

As someone who has long championed the potential of blockchain technology to be a transformative enabler of change across a wide spectrum of industries, I believe in the criticality of delivering new levels of efficiency, transparency and automation — pronounced benefits of distributed ledger technology — to the future of global healthcare, particularly from a data collation and patient care delivery standpoint.

Admittedly, transforming the manner in which people receive care and interact with medical practitioners will be a body of work that spans years. Thankfully, this kind of landmark change is well within blockchain’s purview. Already, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the way patients have been engaging with practitioners has changed dramatically. Natural prudence has dissuaded large swathes of U.S. citizens from visiting their medical facility of choice, with virtual doctor visits in the United States jumping significantly from 12,000 per week to over 1 million per week since March 2020. This mainstream embrace of telehealth illustrates how the healthcare sector can be nimble in times of crisis, but this trend must continue post-pandemic in order to break down the barriers to entry in our healthcare systems while, most importantly, broadening accessibility to healthcare.

Blockchain can play a role in developing secure, decentralized platforms geared toward aggregating sensitive patient data,…

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