Permissioned blockchains for Healthcare are an innovative and secure way to dramatically reduce cost and bureaucracy, increase trust, enable Audit Trails and eliminate conflicts. It is based on a distributed shared ledger of recorded transactions between known, identifiable participants and assets. These transactions can never be erased nor changed as the chain of blocks of transactions is protected by cryptographic hashes. Transactions are approved by consensus of a subset of the participants, which means they are endorsed. In the healthcare sector, blockchain technology can be used to increase trustand define a tamper-proofnetwork of Participants (patients, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, regulation authorities, pharmacies), Assets (medical records,prescriptions) and Transactions (reimbursements, payments). EvenIoT devices can be integrated into this network.
Permissioned blockchains are meant for a known community of participants, where all agree to share information through an append-only distributed digital ledger, where transactions are recorded. Transaction contents are protected by cryptographic hashes, so they are tamper-proof. Every participating party can have its own copy of the ledger. As opposed to public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, identity is fully supported , and transactions between parts are private. Different levels of visibility are achieved through Privacy Services inherent to Permissioned Blockchains, that apply to transactions such as orders, prescriptions, medical records and the participating actors. Recorded transactions between parts are endorsed by selected members of the network (e.g. one doctor, one patient, one pharmacy, regulation entity), and they are immutable (they can be neither changed nor deleted), so that disputes are extremely easy to resolve, due to the fact that all nodes of the network share the same copy of the ledger of transactions. Regarding cybersecurity , the technology itself reduces dramatically the surface attack.
Permissioned Blockchains can be used to model the interaction of different participants in the Healthcare sector, reduce costs, eliminate intermediaries, make transactions real-time, and increase trust by securely recording all transactions such as issuing of orders, prescriptions, analysis and changes in the medical records. Costs can be reduced not only by eliminating intermediaries, but by avoiding duplication, human errors and tampering in prescriptions. There is more security in the system, as immutable transactions can avoid or help identify mistakes when manipulating medical records. One is able to track down changes to a medical record through immutable changes recorded in the shared distributed ledger, and this way those medical records become virtuallyinvulnerable to traditional malware and ransomware attacks that destroy and altersensitive information.
By modelling a patient-centric Health sector as a Blockchain Business Network, costs can be dramatically reduced as the technology eliminates tampering and copy-paste errors, it also brings benefits in the area of Cybersecurity as medical records virtually can't be lost,tamperedor disclosed by ransomware or malware destroying files, and it provides an Audit Trail of all medical transactions happening around a patient.