Last week I participated in the Virtual Blockchain in Healthcare Symposium. The #VBIHS2020 is to be a platform where people related to the healthcare industry can gain in-depth knowledge on how blockchain can leverage the healthcare industry in present & future pandemics. It also convenes the necessary resources to drive systemic transformation and unleash the full potential of blockchain in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare India was a partner to the event, this really helped us build on the work we had already done in the past. In 2018 we had produced a paper on Blockchain, on how it could change healthcare in India. Two years hence not much has happened.
I shared the panel with eminent healthcare leaders from the Middle East and was able to exchange ideas on how to enable blockchain adoption in Asia and in the world.
Below are the key points on the same
Business Case- Dr Mussaad brought up ABC in healthcare technology
While Analytics and Cloud have taken off, Blockchain has been left behind. And I think the primary reason for that is the lack of a good business case. Blockchain has still not left the CTO office and the adoption from a commercial technology point of view is still pending.
Government Standards- I still don’t see any standards from the government. In India, while there are standards for AI and ML bit still nothing for Blockchain. That needs to change. Government has to set the bar, while they have introduced Sand Boxes, it needs to go beyond that.
Lastly need for talent, there is no talent available in the market to implement Blockchain. this is a key component to the growth. While educators have talked about it pretty openly but little action has been taken on the ground.
Blockchain in healthcare has been an area of immense interest to me. I believe that a system of records available real-time would solve a lot of the issues that we see in healthcare today. As part of my efforts to build consensus and understand how Blockchain can solve some of the issues in the healthcare ecosystem, I regularly connect with healthcare leaders through events, conferences, and forums.
Virtual Blockchain in Healthcare Symposium #VBIHS2020 is poised to be a platform where people related to the healthcare industry can gain in-depth knowledge on how blockchain can leverage the healthcare industry in present & future pandemics. It also convenes the necessary resources to drive systemic transformation and unleash the full potential of blockchain in the healthcare industry.
I am anticipating meeting around 10-15 healthcare leaders as part of the event, interacting across 4 sessions and ability to talk to more than 20 solution providers and influencers.
I am speaking on a panel on Healthcare ecosystem and how it can leverage Blockchain, but the other topics being discussed include
– Blockchain & Artificial intelligence,
– E-Health & M-Health
– Healthcare Data Exchange
– Pharma Supply chain
– Blockchain Applications
Below are some additional links for the event and I’m looking forward to meeting you all there.
Healthcare today has been adopting new technology like never before. As a result of this we have many significant developments in recent days. Let’s take for instance the adoption of telemedicine by both patients and care providers alike during the Covid 19 pandemic. It is significant to note how quickly the ecosystem moved ahead and adopted the new standards and today we have multiple consultations on telemedicine.
Similarly, the development of the Covid19 vaccine has been possible partially due to the increased collaboration between the scientific community made possible by digital technologies.
Blockchain has become a game changer in the healthcare industry. It is a foundational technology with capabilities that go way beyond the traditional IT stack. With features like immutability, digital identity, encryption and real time updates, Blockchain has many of the features that would help the industry evolve to the next level.
Last year Priyank Jani and I wrote a paper on Blockchain where we discussed how it could be implemented in the healthcare industry. Here is the link of the paper.
But before we go forward let me quickly discuss what is Blockchain.
Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block contains, typically, a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. Transactions have to be approved by all users of the Blockchain to be stored and modifying an older block of data is impossible. Only updating of future records is permissible making the system secure (relatively speaking) and therefore reliable. This also means an entire Blockchain can serve as a secure ledger that records transactions, negating the need for multiple disparate trails of information.
We believe Indian healthcare has most to gain from the adoption of Blockchain technology. For starters, Blockchain allows all types of data to be integrated into the chain. This means one can add not just doctor prescriptions and treatment records but also nutrition information, fitness data, and recordings from medical devices (such as for blood pressure and diabetes patients) by patients themselves. Over time the presence of such longitudinal patient data means caregivers can better interpret disease symptoms and prescribe effective treatment that is customized to work for the patient. Currently, doctors rely on data from treating different patients to prescribe medication. The chances of success for such medication are about 50%. In many cases, doctors wait for feedback from patients to change the medication. With the availability of longitudinal patient data, doctors would know in advance what treatments are more likely to suit a patient in line with his/her health history.
If implemented over a large scale, Blockchain could help significantly lower healthcare costs in India. In addition, it can give multiple parties selective access to patient records ensuring data is not compromised. A survey report by IBM outlines the following healthcare areas benefiting from Blockchain: clinical trial records, patient health records, regulatory compliance, medical device data integration, treatment records, billing and claims, asset management (for hospital assets such as beds/ equipment available), and contract management (for hospitals).
I am really looking forward to the virtual Blockchain summit that is taking place on the 9h of December 2020. I plan to discuss with the various global leaders how Blockchain can be incorporated into the healthcare ecosystem. Do register if you are interested in discussing Blockchain and building a consensus in this area. The link for registration is here- Register | BlockChain in HealthCare
Recently we came to know about an interesting incident at a corporate wellness camp. The health workers recording the vital statistics of the participants were making key mistakes in recording the observations. A good example was the height of one of the participants was recorded wrongly as 147 centimeters instead of 157. Immediately the participant became obese as per the record. Similarly, BP was recorded wrongly for another participant. Though both mistakes were eventually rectified, we were left wondering how many such errors happen in the healthcare ecosystem daily and what the consequences of these errors would have been.
A properly designed clinical trial forms a necessary part of successful drug development. To design and execute an efficient trial necessitates understanding collaboration and esteem of a multi disciplinary team. Recently I came across a book, ‘A Quick Guide to Clinical Trials’. The book investigates the fundamentals of studies and to familiarize the anyone new at the basics of clinical trials . Aimed at imparting a company foundation of its drivers, the studies process, checks and balances and more, this publication sets out to provide a perspective of clinical trial process.