Blockchain was initially introduced to the world as a platform for cryptocurrencies. Even Satoshi Nakamoto wouldn’t have imagined that the platform will go on to become one of the most talked about technologies of the 21st century.
A large number of uses of blockchain has been discovered in the past few years through extensive research and development. Right from banking and finance to agriculture and supply chain management, blockchain has spread its wings across several sectors.
Application of blockchain in the medical industry has been under development for quite a long some time now. Stepping in the space, the Seoul Medical Centre, one of the biggest hospitals in South Korea, has revealed its plans to launch a blockchain based project, in a bid to improve its medical services.
The blockchain platform will be developed under the “Smart Hospitals” project, which was jointly formulated under a collaboration between the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Seoul Medical Centre. The platform will be focused to improve data accuracy and reduce processing time for delivering services at the hospital. As per reports, the platform will be launched as early as April this year.
Blockchain has become one of the most popular technologies of our time, with countries across the globe racing to become a powerhouse for the distributed ledger system. Giant corporations like IBM, Facebook, Google, TCS, HSBC, JPMorgan, etc., have all jumped into the blockchain and cryptocurrency game. According to data published by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), registration of blockchain based patents has grown tremendously in 2018.
China is leading the way, having alone filed about 930 patents based on the blockchain platform. The United States comes at a close second, with about 860 patents. Even emerging markets like India are betting high on blockchain technology. Indian IT behemoth Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), had revealed earlier this month, that it will lead the blockchain space in the country through its technology centers in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
In order to boost the country’s growth in the blockchain space, the South Korean Government has announced setting up of the “Seoul Innovation Growth Fund” which will facilitate investments of over $1 billion in blockchain based start-ups, by the end of 2022. Prior to the Seoul Medical Centre’s foray into blockchain space, another hospital in South Korea, Myongji Hospital, entered in a collaboration with a domestic IT firm, to develop blockchain based Medical Services platform, back in November last year.
Several experiments and surveys have been conducted on the technology, through partnerships between medical representatives and experts in the blockchain, and the results are overwhelming. The potency of blockchain in terms of handling health data is immense, which can be used extensively to improve medical facilities by reducing costs and time consumption. According to Hyperledger’s survey, 42.9% of healthcare organizations suppose that the interoperability of electronic health records will help for faster blockchain implementation.
Apart from mere data management, blockchain can also facilitate secure and fast data sharing across the globe. This data could be used to solve various diseases which require an extensive amount of study, therefore saving vital time and energy. The immutable data collected on the blocks can be used to conduct a study on chronic diseases like cancer and AIDS, as it allows large data scrutiny in a relatively lesser time frame.
Blockchain applications in countries with an excessive population like India and China could be extremely beneficial for medical science. As the number of patients is tremendously high, a large amount of data can be collected and shared, with utmost security and safety, across the globe for research and development.