Blockchain adoption and industry integration are always seen as a big step in the expansion of cryptocurrencies and this technology in general. Now it seems that there is a new frontier forming for the next big push in adoption of blockchain. This field is the Healthcare industry and with its help, the space for blockchain applications and solutions could expand rapidly.
However, the skeptics are pointing out that scenarios like this drop out regularly from the collective hopes and dreams of the crypto community. This is the reason some are waiting to actually see in this case healthcare companies organizations and other entities begin to introduce blockchain solutions to their systems. But skepticism aside, there is some concrete evidence that points to the possibility of 2020 really being the year when this process starts to take place on a bigger level.
The Start of the Boom
If the current estimates are right the next 12 months or so will bring an amazing increase in blockchain investment happening in the healthcare industry. That amount should be in the range of around 890 million USD. However, the rest of the follow-up programs might take a bit more so this sum of near 1 billion USD finally arrived at all included parties by the end of 2023. Experts believe that this push investment kickstart in the Asia-pacific region.
This is based on the fact that the government in that region so far are presented the most willingness to both invest and adopt blockchain technology. Right now, the sums that are being discussed are not set in stone. Furthermore, the analysts and experts are not in full agreement on the actual process of investment dynamic.
Some see the money pouring in over a short period of time while others that the investments will be spread out across several years. Currently, the second option seems a lot more realistic in spite of the enthusiasm that many institutions and even governments of this region irregularly present when it comes to blockchain technology.
The changes in the healthcare industry will be the actual generator of change, not the off-chance of organizations taking some initiative to improve old processes. Similar to a range of IT industries, starting with esports and going all the way to social media, the change will be ushered in by more stringent regulation. In the case of healthcare, this will be the added pressure on service providers in regards to an individual’s use and collection of private data.
In recent years, the privacy and data collection process has been coming under more and more scrutiny. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and similar institutions are well-known for their massive collection of private and potentially harmful data (if stolen or leaked). That is why the same industry must work hard to ensure that the same data is as safe as possible. This, combined with a boosted funding in blockchain companies, in general, should open up a big field of development that is currently only a fraction of its possible size.
Potential Development Fields
Of course, data collection and safety is not the only domain where healthcare providers and the blockchain industry could easily collaborate. There are numerous different applications of blockchain in this domain. For example, the drug supply chain could be immensely improved with the use of blockchain systems. They would not only ensure that the drugs remain in predefined logistical pathways and thus remain usable, but also cut costs of the chain organization. The reduction in price alone would be able to make sure this improvement pays itself out over the years.
The research and development space is also an ideal partner for blockchain where clinical data could be tested and exchange faster and more effectively than the best current systems can provide. Clinical trials and drug discoveries are also in a similar state and also in the need for some improvements. The business aspects of the healthcare industry would also use this improvement. Billing management and claims adjudication are the perfect examples of space ready for the changes and improvements from the blockchain.
The other side of this story is that of the incredibly backward record keeping procedures in many corners of the healthcare industry. In practically any country in the world, covering developed, developing and under-developed nations, record keeping is usually done in paper form the smallest to the largest providers of healthcare services. The issues with this type of approach are numerous and clear to all, including members of the same industry that are winding down their careers.
Paper records are not the way to go for much longer and blockchain is offering itself up as a frog leap that will skip the current digital standards. While these, including integrated healthcare record systems, are a step up from paper records, they are also full of problems. Blockchain promises a move to digital on a higher level of standard than that of even now slowly obsolete and vulnerable digital systems.
Asia as a Hub
The Asia-Pacific region has been undergoing tremendous changes in terms of its offer of healthcare services. Unlike many Western nations, even those that are considered poor, access to healthcare in Asia just half a century ago was very low across the region. Now, with economic growth and development in nations like China and Vietnam, and the stellar rise of spots like Singapore or Dubai, the healthcare industry is dramatically transforming.
Here, the blockchain tech already witnessed a huge increase in adoption and business opportunities thanks to digital currencies – mainly bitcoin. There, however, the private healthcare industry is also quickly expanding and improving. With an already friendly tech and business environment, the blockchain startups and companies will easily find partners in the healthcare sector. The date of 2020 might seem arbitrary, but it could signify the start of a massive change.
As more and more healthcare providers decide to get blockchain solutions, the more others will see the benefits. This should kickstart the snowball effect of all relevant parties in the healthcare domain of these regions slowly but surely changing their operations to include blockchain solutions.