It is becoming increasingly apparent that the blockchain, the global ledger behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin that manages the transactions, and blockchain technology are going to be disruptive to industries far beyond FinTech and the financial services. Right now, the global commercial banks and even government central banks are rushing to develop strategies for dealing with and responding to what could be the biggest ever threat to their success and existence. Elsewhere, blockchain technology’s potential is already disrupting areas such as gold trading, property titles and land records, loans, share dealing, even air miles! In fact any industry or service that relies on transactions (i.e. all industries!) can expect to be disrupted by blockchain technology sooner rather then later.
The healthcare industry is no exception, from Big Pharma, smaller biotechs, hospitals and clinics, to other independent service providers (e.g. diagnostic and genome sequencing service companies). If there is a transaction involved – “I want an appointment with my doctor”, or “I want my cholesterol level checked”, or “I want my genome sequence to be investigated to see what’s my likelihood for developing Alzheimer’s disease” – the use of blockchain technology could make that transaction quicker, cheaper and more secure. When you put this alongside the explosion in data from wearable devices, ever-cheaper genome sequencing services, plus a new type of patient, who has become more attuned to the opportunities of digital health and is looking to take back control of her own electronic health records (EHRs), it is clear that blockchain technology, with its speed, security and cost-effectiveness, will inevitably spawn new businesses, services and apps that will enable customers/patients to be better served by the healthcare industry.
So watch this space … and Healthcare – prepare to be disrupted by the blockchain!