Like any map, this resource lays out key landmarks across the blockchain in healthcare ecosystem. This landscape is rapidly evolving, with new developments unfolding on a daily basis. This roadmap serves as a high-level tool in relation to blockchain and its application to healthcare. It is not intended to serve as a heavily detailed and/or exhaustive list of the subject.
Organizations must assess their point of origin on an individualized roadmap towards blockchain in healthcare. Some organizations may experiment with blockchain technology, even in a mode of trial and error, while others may select a specific use case category and pilot in a known area. Others may opt to engage in the “new economy” of cryptocurrency with intent to benefit from newly emerging opportunities in this area of blockchain. Still, others may take a hybrid approach, mixing any of the aforementioned methods.
Before embarking on the path towards a blockchain technology implementation project, review the following key considerations:
Organizations should understand their desired outcomes as a result of the implementation of a blockchain technology project. Moreover, serendipitous discoveries may unfold on their journey into blockchain technology that may lead to modifications of the original desired outcomes. A good starting point is to assess whether the proposed use case would benefit from implementation of blockchain technology. There are a few resources available that attempt to address this step:
Before departure, organizations must assess their capacity to participate in the healthcare blockchain landscape.
In addition to readiness, organizations will require several types of resources in order to embark on their blockchain journey:
Blockchain is a unique type of distributed ledger, in which a network of transactional participants can share a single copy of the ledger. The importance of blockchain technology for healthcare is that it solves the reconciliation problem as all partners share the same ledger information. When one transaction is made, all participants will receive the information. Therefore, it removes the inefficient process of checking and validating data in order to determine which party has the correct data set.
Past attempts to solve for the large amounts of transactional data amassed in healthcare are usually focused on data unreliability and storing and/or moving data in a secure fashion. It is customary to utilize an intermediary system to transport data. Example use cases within the space are also available for review.
The technical architecture of blockchain can help to solve many common problems with transactional inefficiencies in healthcare, such as interoperability for clinical outcomes, revenue cycle on the payment side and issues with the pharmaceutical supply chain.
With blockchain technology initiatives already begun, organizations will need to identify key milestones to assess progress. Below are questions that may need to be considered at critical points during the project roll-out.
Undertaking a blockchain technology implementation in a healthcare organization may appear to be a daunting endeavor. Organizations need to employ project management, change management and strategic planning akin to any other type of IT initiative. This roadmap serves as a tool to help guide organizations through the pre-planning and implementation process to facilitate a successful journey.