Below are blockchain use case categories that have generated substantial efforts or interest thus far by stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Within each category is a sample of specific use cases. The following list – while not exhaustive – is a snapshot of the types of use cases blockchain technology aims to address. While interoperability is not included as a use case category below, it is addressed in this section. Readers interested in this application of blockchain are encouraged to refer to that section to learn more.
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Identity is fundamental to almost any blockchain use case in healthcare - inclusive of identity management of individuals (e.g., patient, participant, provider), unique device identifiers (UDIs) for medical devices in the health supply chain, or organizational participants or validators in a network.
With early DLT successes seen in the financial technology (FinTech) arena, the escalating cost of healthcare, and the continuing challenges around fraud (particularly from a federal perspective), healthcare finance has well-aligned needs for the characteristics of blockchain.
Recruiting and retention remain two of the biggest challenges in clinical trials, and despite innumerable attempts over the years, improvement remains largely unrealized. Clinical trial data sharing and the ability for research participants to experience value discovery (including personal health data monetization) are some of the promises of blockchain for these uses cases.
Product supplies, from initial inception to end-of-life, is the most prevalent use case for DLT across industries. In healthcare, medication, clinical supplies, blood products, and medical devices are examples where blockchain is being leveraged for operations, compliance, and forecasting among pharmaceutical manufacturers, blood banks, providers, pharmacies, and payers.