The implementation of blockchain technology is important for protecting patients’ sensitive data from cybercriminals, says Kali Durgampudi, the CTO of Zelis – a healthcare payments company. He highlighted that some of the biggest issues in healthcare are privacy and data security. This is threatened more greatly as the healthcare industry works to digitize its archaic paper-based processes.
Durgampudi believes blockchain technology has the potential to alleviate many of these concerns. Some examples can be seen in the utilization of the digital ledger that is impenetrable to protect sensitive patient and financial data. As information cannot be modified or copied, blockchain technology reduces security risks, and gives hospital and healthcare IT organizations a much stronger line of defense against cybercriminals.
The CTO noted that blockchain technology can also play a key role in healthcare payments. It can provide greater transparency and efficiency over current payment models in healthcare. Earlier, many payers and providers were hesitant to share information through email and there was no proof of delivery either. But now, blockchain technology provides payers and providers with complete visibility into the entire lifecycle of a claim – from the patient registering at the front desk to disputing a cost to sending an explanation of benefits.
IBM is one of the major companies that has been working on blockchain-based healthcare solutions. It has come up with a number of solutions like health credential verification, the “Trust Your Supplier” service to find verified suppliers, and “Blockchain Transparent Supply” – it provides supply chain tracking on temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals. IBM was working on a trial of a COVID-19 vaccination passport “Excelsior Pass”, in March 2021, in collaboration with former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The vaccination passport was designed to verify an individual’s vaccination or test results by IBM’s blockchain.