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It feels as though everywhere you turn, content managers and journalists are writing pieces of COVID-19 and how it affects us both in the short term and in the long run, and though it may feel as though it’s getting redundant at this point, it’s actually such a timely and relevant concept, that writing about anything else almost seems pointless. With COVID-19 being such a hot topic at the current moment, there is much to analyze when it comes to how the pandemic is monumentally impacting the healthcare environment. Yes, retail shops and restaurants have taken quite the painful blow this year, but with frontline workers in healthcare facilities strapping on their PPE (for battle), there’s a slew of technologies that have been positioned to assist these public health industries to better attack and combat the negative effects of the COVID-19 virus. In this instance, blockchain plays a large role in suiting up next to healthcare professionals and other staff members.
It’s anticipated that Blockchain systems can help a great deal with devices and their whereabouts, the results of clinical trials, drug tracing, and health insurance procedures. Device tracing and monitoring is very critical for all those involved, especially when it comes to insuring staff members can map out their resources through an easily navigable blockchain system, highlighting various pieces of their lifecycle as well. This technology is also foreseen to help facilitate patient histories and the process of keeping up with them to ensure every tab of data is up to date and not compromised otherwise. Tackling patients’ insurance and their policies’ coverage can be a tedious task for front-desk receptionists, but with the help of blockchain, such information can be filtered through simply and effortlessly.
Healthcare is essentially improved upon when the patient gains a sense of confidence and empowerment enough to formulate better-informed decisions. Administrators and technologists can achieve this by working to educate patients on the perks that come along with accessing tools and resources to modify and live out their healthcare journey to the most positive outcome. This is highly important especially when it comes to granting financial freedoms, considering bill pay and other scheduled services, providing patients with a sense of heightened “ownership” over their information that lives in the blockchain.
Benefitting those scrambling to fill prescriptions behind the pharmaceutical counter, Blockchain can help to provide that industry with a better sense of data accuracy, privacy, and transparency issues that have been known to affect clinical trials and counterfeit drugs that roll into the supply chain and final destination. One of the largest requirements of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DSCSA) is that each prescription medication package must have a unique product identifier, which would come in the form of a 2D barcode. Combining these federally mandated barcodes with blockchain opens up a world of potential for pharmaceutical environments. Seeing as though blockchain could essentially qualify as an “honest broker” that would ensure hundreds of competing pharmaceutical companies to better work collaboratively with thousands of wholesalers and medicinal dispensers.
The Healthcare industry is evolving so quickly that if you blink, you’ll almost miss out on all of the change that is occurring around us. Doctors and Practitioners have taken this year to adopt a plethora of digital technologies, from Remote Patient Monitoring to check on at-risk COVID-19 patients and their ongoing symptoms, to even a variety of Telehealth services to provide care to patients while ensuring their safety internally as well. As digital health prospects journey forward, blockchain is sure to help satisfy the needs of both patients and staff alike to better accelerate healthcare programs and strategies everywhere.