VOL 26: How Blockchain Will Transform Africa's Health Sector.
Trust you all had a great week?
This is the 6th post in a blog series on Blockchain Transforming Africa. So for today, I will be explaining how this technology can transform our HEALTH SECTOR.
Blockchain to me is a disruptive technology just starting to go mainstream, it is already a talking point as the technology slowly matures. From banking to logistics, to education, to the agricultural sector and now in healthcare, it is becoming clear that this technology is ready for disruption as multiple industries are adopting this technology to innovate the way they function.
P.S: I’ve covered some of them in my past articles, the link is at the end of this article.
Blockchain has a huge opportunity to disrupt and lead a digital transformation in Africa's healthcare sector. There are numerous applications for this technology, ranging from medical records to pharmaceutical supply chains to smart contracts for payment distribution.
To simply reaffirm it again, Blockchain is that technology that can solve data security issues and conservatively ensure that data can get from the source to its end-user without any middlemen with its key features which are; decentralization, transparency and immutability.
Here are three ways how blockchain can change healthcare in Africa;
Electronic health records are the backbone of every modern healthcare system, every hospital and all healthcare industries have a way of storing them,
Some companies are building on this already; Pateintory, Medibloc, Medicalchain etc (They are not in Africa). The goal is to give patients authority over their entire medical history and to provide one-stop safe access to it for patients and physicians while keeping the patient privacy.
The pharmaceutical industry has the highest standard for product safety in the world. The healthcare supply chain management can be monitored securely and transparently which can reduce time delays and human mistakes.
Blockchain can also be used to monitor cost, labour and even waste at every point in the supply chain. It can also be used to verify the authenticity of medical products by tracking them from their origin combating the counterfeit drug market that cost $200 billion in losses to the industry annually.
Companies like Chronicles, Blockpharma and Modum are working towards more efficient logistics solutions. These are just a few of the dozens of startups aiming to use blockchain to disrupt healthcare.
A private healthcare database can be made to allow anonymous data release with strong terms and conditions agreement. This means that healthcare researchers looking to study trends, effects of certain treatments or any other kind of research can have access to a well-structured data system giving them the ability to collaborate on solving complex medical problems and diseases.
The best part is, it would still be under control and the researcher will have a much easier time gathering, analyzing and verifying data. This could lead to accelerated R&D and more coordinated care for hospital systems
I’m emphasizing this again, because Africa lost out during the first, second and third revolutions because of the huge capital and investment requirements, the fourth industrial revolution remains the best opportunity for the continent to play active roles, as it requires only talent, mobile connectivity and adequate skills.
I strongly believe that Africa stands to derive immense benefits from the use of blockchain in the healthcare sector because the technology has the potential to transform the healthcare system in Africa by improving health data security, privacy, and interoperability.
To sum it up, blockchain if harnessed properly will contribute to the development of a data-driven future that will enable medical breakthroughs on an unprecedented scale.
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I hope you enjoyed learning.
Enjoy your weekend.