Patient data privacy is strictly regulated globally. However, in many cases, patients need to share their medical records with doctors or pharmacies, which is a challenge for the existing IT systems. Solving this dilemma would remove the bottleneck of patient health data privacy and thus make the healthcare system more efficient.
The patients need the option to manage their own health data, even to share or to remove it as they wish. The current IT infrastructure is incapable of doing that. Blockchain, with its nature of strong cryptography and decentralization, can offer users the ownership of the data while not having to store the data themselves.
Patients need to be able to share part of their data records to a doctor or pharmacy depending on the situation. Furthermore, after that, the data needs to stay private again.
One person’s health data is normally distributed in various hospitals, clinics where he visited for checkup and treatment. It is essential to collect those data to one place to make sure that the patient does not have to do a certain experiment for multiple times. At the same time, it needs to protect the data privacy in the way that no data providers can view the data from another provider.
The blockchain creates a hash for each health data record, together with a patient ID. Using APIs, authorized entities can receive the necessary information without revealing a patient’s identity. This feature is especially beneficial for healthcare researches which requires lots of anonymous data. Furthermore, a patient can decide whom to provide with access and whether this access will be either full or partial.