The use of blockchain in healthcare holds immense potential and will be beneficial to both patients and healthcare services providers in the upcoming years. With its initial success, newer trends have disrupted the market and will define its direction, during the forecast period of the blockchain in healthcare market. Smart contracts have disrupted the market and will be pivotal in ensuring transparency amongst healthcare stakeholders owing to blockchain technology. One of the major examples of smart contracts is inventory management of drug supplies. ‘If-then-else’ programs will form the basis of this concept to trigger an automatic transaction and provide payment to the manufacturer, if a patient orders a particular drug from the formulary built by this technology. Moreover, blockchain can also be utilized in expediting payment from a patient to a doctor’s office. This is accomplished by creating a digital record adept at recording instances of patient’s meeting with the doctor. Hospital services providers are collectively working towards a more efficient blockchain system that can ensure finer interoperability amongst each other. For instance, five leading healthcare companies including Quest Diagnostics, Humana, and others are launching a blockchain powered program that could succeed in reducing administrative costs. Using this technology, provider directories will be maintained online that could alternate information between insurers, hospitals, medical service providers, and others. This will be used to maintain seamless transactional information to reduce breaches and technical errors. The blockchain market will grow with a robust CAGR of 52%, during the forecast period 2019-2025. The market has earned a revenue of $38 billion in 2018.
North America has emerged as the leading region of the geographical segmentation of the blockchain market in healthcare industry. According to IndustryARC evaluations, the market held a regional share of 46%, out of total revenue earned by it in 2018. This share can be primarily owed to financial and technological efforts made by the U.S. in the recent times to reduce technological breaches and maintain a transparent supply chain system. Moreover, a large number of key players in this market are headquartered in the country which has instigated consistent research and technological innovation in the field. For instance, Simply Health, Inc. has revolutionized healthcare in the U.S. with the invention of two different products called Health Nexus and ConnectingCare. Both of these products make use of blockchain technology and are designed for healthcare providers for transparent system. ConnectingCare makes use of patient’s data of visitation to doctors, symptoms, pharmaceutical purchase, and others to assess tentative direction of their medical condition after they leave the hospital. This helps to generate a more accurate financial forecast for healthcare providers, and for accentuating better services to customers. Health Nexus on the other hand will bridge the gap between patients and healthcare service providers. For instance, a customer can voluntarily share his data to a research institute that could use this software to predict which hospital and treatment would be more suitable for the patient. Innovations of this stature have provided impetus to the blockchain in healthcare market in North America.
Growth Drivers of the Market
• A Growing Number of Healthcare Data Breaches
The healthcare industry around the world has experienced an extraordinarily high amount of data breaches in 2018. Not only do these breaches compromise normal functioning in hospitals and clinics, they are further used to manipulate patient data and can cause identity and financial loss in the future. As per the HIPAA journal, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reported 351 data breaches in the healthcare industry by the end of December, 2018. This number is alarming and points out towards the severity of data insecurity that plagues all computing systems regardless of the industry. One of the largest data breaches occurred in AccudDoc Solutons, Inc. that records billing details of patients visiting Atrium Hospitals in North Carolina. Approximately 2 million patients were affected by this data breach and their details were heavily compromised. This calls for a better version of database security such as blockchain in healthcare that could provide decentralized data maintenance.
• Blockchain in Healthcare Market will Reduce Electrical Usage
One of the key but unexpected benefits of using blockchain technology will be in reducing computing footprint left behind by large volumes of data processed in systems throughout the world. Hospital services providers are largely relying on storing data in software without an advanced technology such as blockchain contribute to massive electrical usage. This can be impeded by improvement of blockchain infrastructure that will consume lesser space in computing systems, thereby noticeably reducing the amount of electricity used by computer systems, whilst making data storage more transparent and secure.
• Emergence of 5G Networks will Contribute to Blockchain in Healthcare
Fifth generation networks have already disrupted the internet market and will make a noticeable impact on data storage across all platforms. Citing an incredibly fast network as its leading feature, 5G network will make database maintenance extremely seamless and easy with blockchain technology that will maintain a digital ledger storing patient records that can be accessed by hospital services providers. Using this fast-paced network technology, blockchain will help in overcoming high financial costs associated with database maintenance of customer records that hospitals currently incur. Between related parties, blockchain will assist in exchange of electronic health records without any hassles.
• Enhancement of Patient Experience
Apart from ensuring proper delivery of medical facilities to patients, hospitals are now also focusing on reducing inconvenient steps that are faced by consumers pertaining to processing payments and obtaining insurance. Usage of blockchain technology in hospital can provide seamless services to patients in various manner such as decentralized access of records and data to patients including appointment booking, tracking insurance status, immunization record, and others. Blockchain in healthcare market will enable a portal that will also allow all employees to access patients’ data in order to assess their history and therefore, provide necessary and valid services.
Major Players of the Market
Key market players have played an important role in innovating the field of blockchain for creating sustainable solutions that could impact the healthcare industry in a positive way. Using this technology, companies have invested time and technological resources to carefully assess the areas where blockchain technology could make a noticeable difference including supply chain management system, building the bridge between the insurers and the buyers, making processing claims easier, and others. These key companies of the blockchain in healthcare market include Change Healthcare, Chronicled, Inc., Factom Inc., FarmaTrust, Hashed Health, Healthereum, LLC, IBM Corporation, iSolve, LLC, and Medicalchain SA.
Change Healthcare is a Tennessee based healthcare organization that has a number of subsidiaries working towards providing networking solutions that could benefit hospitals and clinics. Using blockchain technology, Change Healthcare has processed up to 50 million transactions every single day. The company has developed Intelligent Healthcare Network™ that helps payers and healthcare providers in processing claims without any hassles and security issues. Moreover, Change Healthcare collaborated with TIBCO to build the world’s first smart contract system that could work on a blockchain trigger used to automate claims transaction process.
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