This website is intended for Medical Professionals only. By using this site you confirm that you are a healthcare professional.

Saturday, 14 April 2018 18:42

Blockchain & Healthcare will there be offspring?

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Ian Ellul

Blockchain technology was invented in 2009 as platform for cryptocurrencies (most of us are familiar with bitcoin). In essence, it is a generic tool to keep secure data in a decentralized encrypted ledger of transactions across a peer-to-peer network. With this network, participants may confirm transactions without the need for a centralized certifying body. So there is one shared secure ledger which is spread across a network of synchronized, replicated databases which are visible to anyone with access to the system.

Every time a digital transaction occurs, it is encrypted in a ‘block’ with other transactions happening at the same time, hence its name. Taking the fintech industry as example, these transactions would consist of buying and selling executions. In healthcare, taking hospital electronic records as an example, these ‘blocks’ would relate to e.g. investigation results such as bloods. These executions are validated, in our case by physicians, having an access key. Then the blockchain software timestamps each validated block and adds it to the existing chain of older blocks, in chronological order. The sequence shows every transaction made in the history of that ledger, whether it be bloods or an arthroscopy [healthcare], or bitcoin sales [fintech].

This technology is also particularly relevant for medication administration records. Let us consider a patient who is taking clopidogrel, paracetamol and simvastatin. Today, each electronic record [where available] is essentially a snapshot; it doesn’t necessarily tell the prescriber what the patient is actually taking at a specific moment in time. But with blockchain, each prescription is like a deposit. When a prescriber discontinues a medication, this is like a withdrawal. Using blockchain, there is no need for a prescriber to go through all the ‘deposits’ and ‘withdrawals’ - they would just see the real-time ‘balance’.

In the next issue, we will discuss even further the interesting applications of blockchain in our field.

Additional Info

  • TheSynapse Magazines: 2016
Read 444 times

Dr Ian Ellul PhD[Paed.][Melit.] has been the managing editor of The Synapse Journal since 2005. He was also Director of Pharmacy Services at a private hospital group, the government's Clinical Trials Coordinator for trials conducted in Malta, as well as senior regulatory affairs officer.  

 

More in this category: « Updates on the management of COPD

TheSynapse Videos

0
0
0
0
0
0

Highlights

  • WASP Course in Bahrain

    WASP Course, led by Prof Victor Grech and Prof Charles Savona Ventura, has recently organised a course in Bahrain. Co-hosted with Arabian Gulf University, the course, on how to write a scientific paper, focused on quantitative analysis methods and was targeted for medical doctors and allied health professionals.

    Written on April 24, 2018 Read more...
  • Interactive Discussion on Valsartan

     

     

    The Malta Medicines Authority in collaboration with the Superintendence
    of Public Health and the Department of Pharmacy University of Malta
    would like to cordially invite you to an interactive scientific discussion:

     

     


    THE VALSARTAN SAGA


    SCIENCE | MYTHS | REALITIES

     


    led by Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott

     


    Date: Wednesday 25 July 2018

     


    Time: 20:00
    Venue: Conference Room, Life Sciences Park, San Ġwann

     


    Refreshments will be served


    RSVP: info.medicinesauthority@gov.mt | 23439202

    Written on July 21, 2018

Join

Connect with other Medical Professionals on fb in a closed facebook group

captcha  

Login

Template Settings

Theme Colors

Cyan Red Green Oranges Teal

Layout

Wide Boxed Framed Rounded
Patterns for Layour: Boxed, Framed, Rounded
Top
We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…