As a technology and innovation enabler, blockchain is foreseen to disrupt numerous industries and among which healthcare might not be an exception like. The potential benefits that blockchain can bring to healthcare sector are indispensable;
It is already known that Blockchain Smart Ledger can help Health Care in many ways, like,
- Drug traceability to arrest fake drugs…
- Clinical trials against specific deseases…
- Patient data management and control by patient himself.
and much more.
The question on whether blockchain will replace the current healthcare system is still unknown at the moment. Let’s understand why and how it can be achieved.
Health Tech Transformation Plan by Thai Government
The latest National eHealth Strategy document released by Ministry of Public Health, (2017 – 2026) has provided detailed guidelines with 4 staged recommend Digital Landscape to Health 4.0 are :
- Establish health information system standards and improve the interoperability of healthcare information systems.
- Develop a health data warehouse.
- Develop Personal Health Record.
- Develop digital health technologies.
As on March 2019, we see Thai Government eHealth program is already launched and many private hospitals like Samitvej have launched their similar services as well.
I feel the above eHealth Strategy will address one of key pain point i.e a data integration layer for sharing electronic information between hospitals which is currently very poor. The most common barrier reported for integrating mutual records was different data standards make it impossible to embed into their own system’s electronic health record.
It is learnt that this program has not yet considered to leveraging Blockchain Technology to replace current healthcare system.
Current Technology Developments
One of Thai startup, ‘Smart Contract Thailand‘ is actively working on developing “BLOCK MD” (currently in PoC stage). Most of these systems consist of Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Personal Health Records (PHR) platform on blockchain technology will help to enable general ledger for patients, care takers, doctors, hospitals, insurances and so on.
Last but not the least the Roadmap to Blockchain enabled health tech will require to cross important milestones like mature cybersecurity law and data privacy law in place.
Recently in March 2019 the Thailand Cyber security law is released and tabled for approval is a milestone getting achieved.