Blockchain technology in health

Author: Manpreet Kaur

Kaur, Manpreet, 2020 Blockchain technology in health, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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In the healthcare sector, handling the medical data of patients is critical. There is potential for threat to patient health if a patient’s data is mismatched with another patient’s information or information is delivered to the wrong hands. Nowadays, the idea of having a patient-centric approach is increasing. Healthcare service providers are beginning to give over control of patients’ data so that medical data can be managed by the patients themselves. However, health data is scattered across different service providers and sometimes different service providers make that data unavailable due to their privacy policies. Blockchain technology is related to security of medical patient records which helps to maintain the scattered data in different areas by storing the information in a common platform. Blockchain in healthcare will improve the accessibility of the data in healthcare so that there will not be any risk in collecting the information about any patient. This will result in securing the patient’s health records. Blockchain technology is resistant to cyber-attacks and failures, and suitable for providing different modes of access control. Blockchain based healthcare systems can help to exchange the medical data across different providers. The security of identifying the patients will be increased and risk of information blocking will be reduced if blockchain technology is implemented within the healthcare system. As Blockchain is a relatively new technology, it is not yet widely used in healthcare. However, the use of this technology in healthcare has increased since 2015. So, this research identifies the benefits of blockchain in healthcare and advocates for greater use of the technology. A systematised literature review is used as a research methodology for evaluating the security and privacy concerns in healthcare and explaining how blockchain technology is useful for handling such concerns in healthcare. The review was accomplished firstly by finding the papers in four different databases with broad keywords and then applying filters for removing the duplicates. After that, a brief description is given of the problems in healthcare and their solutions with the help of blockchain. Lastly, the problems are categorised into main issues and descriptions of which type of blockchain technology is useful for overcoming those issues. After conducting the systematised review, the study investigated some of the common problems in healthcare. Then, the study described how these specific issues in healthcare can be overcome by using a specific type of blockchain technology, such as which type of blockchain platform is useful for handling which type of issue in healthcare. For example, security and privacy issues in healthcare can be overcome by a specific type of blockchain platform, while other issues can be resolved by using another type of blockchain. It is very useful to have a specific solution for a specific problem. After completing this research, it was found that there is a need for this blockchain technology in healthcare. It will have great advantage for healthcare having specific types of blockchain technology for specific types of issues in the health field. Therefore, medical practitioners, healthcare workers, or patients with problems in healthcare can use this research for overcoming that issue using the specific type of blockchain technology. Keywords: Blockchain, blockchain technology, blockchain in health, blockchain in healthcare, applications of blockchain, working of blockchain, issues in healthcare.

Keywords: Blockchain, blockchain technology, blockchain in health, blockchain in healthcare, applications of blockchain, working of blockchain, issues in healthcare

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Trish Williams