Electronic health records (EHRs) were introduced as part of the digital transformation, allowing for the efficient and orderly storing of medical data in digital format. However, EHRs have their own drawbacks, one of which is that EHRs cannot be freely transferred between systems, resulting in information being dispersed everywhere. However, with the arrival of blockchain technology, the healthcare industry got fresh optimism and saw an opportunity to modernize its record-keeping system. Blockchain technology connects information to blocks, which are then saved in an encrypted digital locker. Blockchain holds healthcare data in numerous locations rather than just one. This is especially useful when a computer is compromised since blockchain allows the user to control who has access to the digital ledger.
Blockchain technology is still in its early stages of development. There are various organizational and technical hurdles that have consistently hampered the full-fledged and comprehensive scale application of blockchain technology, notably in the healthcare field. Here are some of the challenges:
Blockchain is a relatively new and underutilized technology. A lack of technical assistance and awareness has resulted in a few field projects. Others have little to look forward to and follow because there aren't many models where blockchain has been successfully deployed.
2. Not Enough Storage
The existing blockchain technology model's storage capacity is insufficient to support ever-increasing healthcare data. As a result, medical data, lab reports, photographs, and documents may be jeopardized owing to insufficient storage.
3. Confusions over Data Ownership
Data accessibility and usage inside the blockchain network are determined by authority and authorization. However, no structure or process has been built in the healthcare business to specify who has the authority to grant data-sharing permission and who owns healthcare data.
General public is unaware of the costs associated with blockchain technology deployment and upkeep. As a result, without understanding the costs/expenses, consumers are unsure whether they should use it or not.
5. Rules and Regulations
There are currently no explicit guidelines or regulations in place regarding the use of blockchain in the healthcare industry. HIPAA already oversees every element of the healthcare business, and the introduction of any new technology will be heavily reliant on its compliance with current privacy standards.
Although, there are chances of possible challenges, which adds to the difficulties faced by healthcare providers. Blockchain technology has a solid foundation and the potential to improve in the future. We can only hope that blockchain technology improves and revolutionizes technological progress in the healthcare industry. The usage of blockchain in healthcare can improve the record-keeping process and provide the simplicity of data storage and use.