Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology What Is in It for the Healthcare Industry?

Nabil Badr

Abstract

Distributed ledger technology has seen its debut into communities of practice in healthcare where the reliance on knowledge sharing between participants postulates the foundations of secure and distributed knowledge, especially in some sensitive context, such as patient information. This knowledge is essential for the practice of care from patient contact to research, pharmaceutical supply chain, medication adherence and management of the plethora of bedside data into a collection of knowledge about the patient, essential to quality care. We introduce different schools of thought and implementation contexts of the distributed ledger technology or Blockchain. We provide an overview of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, focused on the Healthcare industry, as an initial assessment of the validity of an application of Distributed Ledger Technology in a specific knowledge management model to solve problems related to knowledge sharing in medical knowledge management systems. The paper summarizes some instances of most likely and unlikely uses of Blockchain in the healthcare setting. The paper also introduces a few use cases where some short-term benefits from such implementation.

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