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Across the world, many people relate the word “blockchain” with cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. However, gradually, this technology is being explored in different supply chains, including pharma blockchain.
In simple language, pharma blockchain technology is a decentralized and distributed ledger system, where different transactions are permanently recorded. According to Deloitte, blockchain is a shared and unchallengeable record of peer-to-peer transaction blocks that are stored in a digital ledger.
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As there is no central authority in the system, all the records and transactions are being stored and shared across all network participants. In addition to this, Blockchain uses the data structure in order to ease the way we make transactions.
Apart from the healthcare industry, blockchain technology helps many other industries, including e-commerce, education and manufacturing, allowing companies to keep a permanent record of online exchanges and transactions in a more secure way.
When it comes to blockchain in the medical industry, one report from BIS Research estimates that the global pharma blockchain market is estimated to reach $5.61 billion by 2025, observing a double-digital growth during the forecast period of 2018-2025.
If you work in pharma, you may not be sure when the right time is for you to invest in blockchain technology for pharma, healthcare or medical data management. Here are four reasons for you to consider benefiting from adopting blockchain technology:
The main reason healthcare companies should invest in this blockchain technology is the fact that it offers easy access to health data and patient records. Healthcare centres can keep patients’ data and records stored in a blockchain-based system, ensuring they are secure and permanent.
To access data and records, patients give permission to healthcare service providers, allowing doctors to package new records into blocks, creating a permanent history of that patient. In fact, healthcare businesses get seamless access to real-time patient’s health data and reduce the burden of data settlement through blockchain.
Moreover, it resolves many healthcare challenges like health data security and interoperability because the data and records that are stored in the blockchain-based system can’t be breached.
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As we know, healthcare companies have to follow incredibly strict compliance policies, rules and regulations to ensure the security of patients’ data and the privacy of all records. With the number of cybersecurity threats and increasing pressure, there is rising concern for healthcare companies to implement emerging digital workflows.
As per the 2020 IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute study, the global average total cost of a data breach in 2020 is $3.68M. So, healthcare centres and companies need to look at implementing a secure and trusted IT ecosystem to manage healthcare data.
What’s more, in the current environment, 76% of the study respondents said remote work would increase the time to identify and contain a data breach, and 70% that remote work would increase the cost of a data breach.
So, at this critical time, all companies dealing with medical data should invest in blockchain-based systems to further secure their digital records. These systems operate on distributed network consensus with built-in cryptography techniques, so there is an extra layer of trust, reducing the number of cybersecurity threats for medical devices.
Most healthcare professionals and companies are facing problems related to tracing the journey medications take, with issues making it difficult to show the route from the manufacturers to the patients. The challenge comes with costs, adding billions of dollars to processes, and can pose considerable risks to patients.
But individuals are able to regulate the progression of single doses with blockchain-associated medication-tracing methods. With this transparency, the safety of patients increases.
In fact, implementing blockchain can also help pharma companies to track the movement of the drugs, mainly materials, from manufacturers to the last point in the supply chain. There will be a complete record of the transport of such drugs, leaving far less chance for them to be stolen at points of transfer or tampered with.
Within the healthcare industry, research published in November 2020 found that $2.6 billion loss is attributed to health care fraud and abuse. According to Reetuparna Dutta, partner at Hodgson Russ, a healthcare fraud and whistleblowing law firm, these frauds are often not committed by criminals but by those within the industry simply acting irresponsibly.
In short, they don’t take the requirements imposed on them seriously in terms of appropriate billing and allowing bills to be submitted without taking steps to check and ensure their accuracy. Blockchain can help make billing easier and ensure that all required records meet with requirements.
Clearly, pharma blockchain technology has a lot of potential for all healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses. This technology can help healthcare and pharma companies and startups resolve many pressing challenges such as data interoperability, insurance notarization, cybersecurity, billing fraud issues, and more. These are just some of the reasons why these companies should invest in blockchain technology.
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