Creating industry solutions with blockchain healthcare interoperability

COVID-19 sparked a huge uptake in the healthcare sector and highlighted some of its most significant pain points. Throughout this ongoing public healthcare emergency, several sectors were both understaffed and overworked. There have been related problems like supply chain delays and shortfalls that have led to similar crises.

These challenges have not been only on the side healthcare providers. However, patients and those who are looking to get into the healthcare system face the consequences of the continuing strain on medical institutions. Increased demand for healthcare services is one example.

Telehealth dependency

It has opened up a new way for hackers to attack cybersecurity. This has resulted in significant rises in identity theft and patient privacy.

To address

current difficulties

In order to create the infrastructure necessary for future healthcare, it will require more resources. But the healthcare sector also requires more advanced tools. One of the most effective and comprehensive ways to achieve this is blockchain. This technology has many applications relating to healthcare, its partners, patients and the medical field. Integrating blockchain can make healthcare providers more efficient and safer. This will remove much of their primary responsibility to care for and work with patients.

Current patient data challenges

The digitalization of healthcare brings great opportunities for efficiency and convenience. But as the technology used in medicine grows, so do the possibilities.

potential risks

. Patient data protection is a critical issue in healthcare, and this has been the case since before the pandemic. However, digital records can make patient data more accessible to anyone who wants it. HIPAA compliance is difficult because medical data can now be shared more easily and has less traceability. Malicious and unwitting actors only make this worse. Telehealth has also contributed to the rise in medical data security risks. Telehealth makes it easier to share sensitive information electronically and gives third parties more chances to steal it.

Blockchain is most commonly used in the context of self-sovereign and sovereign identity. Blockchain technology can be used to create self-sovereign identities. This allows for the removal of long-standing issues by allowing them to have access to blockchain. Digital identity has been through two main variations in the past, siloed or federated.

Siloed digital identity

Anyone who has ever tried to register on a website will recognize the term “siloed identity”. The user gives their information and creates an individual identity for each institution. Some institutions operate independently, others in “silos”. This system is criticised both for the fact users have to remember credentials for many organisations and for the risk they take by sharing their personal information.

Federated electronic identity

Federated identity is an identity system that consolidates logins. Additionally, it reduces the number and access to users’ information by requiring only one identity and a limited set of credentials which can be used in multiple organizations. Paypal is an example, which makes it possible to make payments to people and stores without sharing personal information. Facebook and Google, on the other hand, allow you to sign up for or log in to multiple services without creating a new identity.

Although federated identification has made some improvements over its predecessor, it still suffers from the disadvantage of providing information to large, centralized entities that could be compromised or sell user data. Federated identities are not compatible with all services. They also have the potential for a single point or failure. All logins and identities will be tied to one provider.

Implementation and protection of data through self-sovereign Identity

Self-sovereign Identity is a new model which combines many of these benefits with unique blockchain capabilities. Self-sovereignity is not a model where personal data can be left in the hands other than the user. It allows the user to be the controller and owner of their identity. The user can also share this information selectively, and on a case-by–case basis.

Being on the Blockchain allows self-sovereign ID to function in a decentralized fashion. This means that it can bypass the ownership concerns inherent in other identity models. Its use of blockchain allows personal data to be encrypted and made only available to certain individuals.

Other identity models have different requirements for sharing information. Self-sovereign identity is also important. Users will need to share information when they register for siloed and federated identities. The self-sovereign identity, however, allows for very fine control over each interaction.

Self-sovereignity implementation

An individual could choose to just disclose that they’ve received post-natal healthcare before. However, they don’t have to reveal any details such as the date and location, how many times, or personal information about their children. The self-sovereign ID can also be used for confirming one is or not a senior citizen. It could also prove they live in or go to a specified hospital without having to reveal their home address.

By limiting access to personal data through blockchain, many logistical issues and risks are eliminated that can arise from other forms. It is not possible for identity data to be lost by the healthcare provider or stolen. This simplifies the process for changing providers by removing the need to worry about old records and how they will be transferred to new providers.

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