chapter  9
25 Pages

Blockchain and Big Data in the Healthcare Sector

ByYogesh Sharma, B. Balamurugan, Firoz Khan

We heard a lot of blockchain concepts in terms of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but this blockchain technology has emerged to be used in other sectors also, and healthcare is one of them. Blockchain is a way of storing and sharing the data in a way that can be distributed, transparent and temper proof. Blockchain technology can be very useful in healthcare delivery. Healthcare generates enormous amount of data which include laboratory test reports, imaging test, such as X-rays, CT scans, financial documents, previous medication given to the patient, previous medical history, last appointments. All these data constitute huge amount of data when several patients come under a single hospital or healthcare center. The data used in healthcare sector is expanding at a very high speed. However, the huge amount of healthcare data is suffering from some challenges, such as security of the patient’s data, privacy of the patient’s data, accessing of data, how this data can be accessed outside the healthcare delivery facilities in which the healthcare data is stored. Blockchain technology can be useful in improving this challenge. One of the big factors in healthcare today is, we need to manage a large amount of data that we can call as big data and this data might impact the cost, quality, and value of the healthcare that is delivered.

Blockchain technology plays an important role and ensures the integrity or redundancy of the data and that the data has not been changed or tampered from its original state or damaged due to error in the database. A blockchain technology will also be useful in distribution of the healthcare data among different nodes in a network which use the facilities of this data. Such factors, however, impact the cost, quality, and value of the data being used. Blockchain technology can be useful in security and privacy of the healthcare data as only the nodes connected in the blockchain network has the right to access the healthcare data, only after getting permission from the persons own data.