Blockchain is an indispensable technology for modern medicine

Blockchain is an indispensable technology for modern medicine

Health is something that is not saved, that is saved, as the greatest value of every person. Unfortunately, each of us is simply forced to visit different doctors. Therefore, each of you is familiar with the problem of the completeness of medical data necessary for establishing correct diagnoses and prescribing further treatment. For many people, their lives even depend on it, so the lack of data, their untimely presentation to doctors has always been a big problem. Fortunately, blockchain technology can completely correct the situation, so recently there are more and more IT projects to implement blockchain specifically in the medical industry. The BeFund team was engaged in one of these, but more on that later. First, let’s take a look at what benefits blockchain provides and what features can have a negative effect without their developers foreseeing them.

Data as the main object

Each person’s health is unique, as is the history of their illnesses. Even if someone is lucky enough not to get sick with anything in particular, the first important notes about vital activity take place at birth: weight, possible pathologies, the course of childbirth. Next, information is added about vaccinations that have an impact on the rest of your life. Likewise with various possible injuries: each fracture, surgical intervention or other has its contraindications for the rest of life. Therefore, it is clear that a list of all possible data regarding human health and its changes is important for medicine.

But usually it is almost impossible to save absolutely everything. And even if the information is carefully entered into the medical card, sometimes it is impossible to get it. It should also be remembered that in most countries, information about the state of health is considered strictly confidential, and access to it must be authorized by the patient himself.

So, if we take the actual data as the basis, then for the medical field it is of particular importance:

Completeness of data — saving in a certain place all possible records about the state of health and its changes throughout a person’s life;

Availability — the ability to view the contents of the patient’s card and supplement it;

Confidentiality — observance of security conditions in accordance with the requirements of international legislation.

Blockchain capabilities

On the BeFund blog, we have already talked about the main properties and advantages of blockchain technology, in particular in the article “How do BeFund professionals audit smart contracts?”, so we recommend that you familiarize yourself with them if you have not already done so. However, it is the preservation of information that is the key to solving the problem of lack of data: after all, everything that enters the blockchain remains there forever. That is why a medical card created on any blockchain will exist as long as all its decentralized components. At the same time, it is impossible to distort the content — remove the fact of the disease or imperceptibly add a fictitious diagnosis. So for things like a medical record, blockchain is a perfect solution from a data storage perspective.

Same access benefits. It should be remembered that any blockchain is a decentralized system where each of its participants has equal access to any record, even the very first one. In this way, any doctor will be able to view the patient’s medical history at the right time without any problems or complications.

However, now you may have a fair question: if everything is so simple and open, what about privacy? After all, in this case, not only a doctor, but also anyone can read people’s medical records. However, any preconceived notions are useless, as it should be remembered that the blockchain is an anonymous system where there are no specific people or companies. Therefore, an attacker with a strong desire can theoretically read all the records of the blockchain, but cannot link the data to a specific person. In order for the medical card to perform the functions assigned to it, appropriate software and well-thought-out operation of smart contracts are necessary. This can be best illustrated by the example of a project implemented by the BeFund team

Decentralized medical card application

The BeFund company implemented a lifelong medical card project on the order of a private clinic from Western Europe. We cannot disclose the name of our clients under the terms of the NDA, but the methods and ideas used in the project may be made public and may be used for the benefit of others. A decentralized application on the Ethereum blockchain designed to keep track of all medical events in the life of each individual patient. Of course, the most complete medical card is for babies, because data is entered here not only from the first days of life, but also from the time of gestation in the mother’s womb. The information of adults is entered in the available volume by clinic employees or by the patient himself based on documentary confirmations.

From the technical side, the project is a decentralized application and smart contracts created on Solidity, with the ability to read and supplement. This allows other users of the platform to view medical records and doctors to enter information about further diagnoses and prescribed treatment. It is impossible to change previously entered information.

Access to the medical card is provided by the patient himself or an authorized representative (for children and incapacitated patients). This is possible due to the generation of a qr-code in the user’s personal application and gives medics time-limited access to the card. No doctor can arbitrarily make changes to the patient’s card. All participants of the platform are anonymous, so no third-party user of the blockchain can establish relationships between accounts.

Development prospects

Our medical card has a number of additional benefits that are already in demand or will become popular with the development of web3 in general:

  • With the patients’ consent, their data may be processed by other medical institutions. This provides an opportunity to participate in research, various medical programs and provide important data for the development of pharmacology and medicine in general;
  • The records of the medical record are the confirmation of the diagnoses and the general condition of the patient. This volume of data can be used by insurance companies as confirmation of insurance cases without the involvement of intermediaries. It saves time, automates the process and serves as a source of information for concluding new smart contracts in the direction of insurance;
  • Medical record data can be used by patients to communicate remotely with doctors from around the world and is a comprehensive source of information that helps improve the accuracy of diagnoses and treatment.

The plans of our customers include the development of a decentralized application and the introduction of other effective tools. We are convinced that the chosen direction can already in the near future significantly improve the health of specific people and of all humanity in general. If you are also interested in development for the medical field, BeFund specialists will be happy to talk individually.