Blockchain can Secure Sharing of Electronic Health Records

Blockchain can Secure Sharing of Electronic Health Records

Today’s connected world has created new challenges for Healthcare Industry. It is under immense pressure to provide ‘on-demand services.’ Why would a customer visit a hospitals/diagnostic center for getting reports when he can receive it online through website or email? The concern here is not that the hospitals and diagnostic centers don’t have enough money to provide these facilities to the customer, but the storage and sharing of Electronic Health Records.

The biggest challenge that is being faced by health care systems throughout the world is how to share medical data with known and unknown stakeholders for various purposes while ensuring data integrity and protection patient privacy.

blockchain solution for healthcare industry

Three Traditional Models Of Interoperability Of Medical Data:

  • Push: Push is a transmission between two parties, and no other party has access to it. In case the patient gets transferred to another hospital, the new hospital would not be able to access data about the patient that was pushed to the first hospital. In this approach:
    • There is no guarantee of data integrity
    • There is no secure option for data sharing
    • There is no standardized audit trail.
  • Pull: Pull is the idea that one provider can query information from another provider.
  • View: In this model, a provider can view the data inside another provider’s record.

The 4th Model – Based on Blockchain That Enables Secure Lifetime Medical Record Sharing Across Providers.

One of the major problem today faced by Healthcare industry is the reconciliation of medical data. It is done manually by clinics, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and even insurance companies. Apart from being susceptible to human error, the flaw in this method are:

  • There is no single list, in which the data of all the places can be found in the order in which it was originally entered.
  • Though the data about medication ever prescribed to the patient is available, it can be unclear which medications the patient is taking now.
  • Although data security standards are better than ever, it is difficult to track who recorded what, and when.

In a Blockchain Scenario, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) can be managed utilizing Distributed Ledger, Cryptographic Identity Management and Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts are self-executing codes that are designed to execute a command/action if they are exposed to a trigger (which can be some data input). A Smart Contract-based EHR would send updates about medications, problems, allergy lists, etc. to a community-wide trusted open source ledger, so additions and subtractions to the medical record are well understood and auditable across organizations.

The EHR thus formed could display data from every database referenced in the ledger, instead of just displaying data from a single database. The information presented by EHR on the distributed ledger of a permissioned Blockchain would be perfectly reconciled community-wide, with the assured integrity from the point of data generation to the point of use, without manual human intervention.

Also Read: Blockchain Promises to Solve Healthcare Woes

Whenever a new record gets added by a healthcare service provider, a patient can verify the proposed record before accepting or rejecting it and can authorize sharing of records between providers. This method doesn’t store the medical data on the Blockchain. Instead, the signature of the record gets stored which assures that an unaltered copy of the record is obtained. It also gives the patient control of his information.

The Blockchain solution for healthcare industry drastically reduces the time required to access patient’s information, enhances system interoperability and improve data quality. We, at Sofocle, have a competent and experienced team of Blockchain engineers who have developed a complete fresh Blockchain for a healthcare client. To know more about our Blockchain development services, drop us an e-mail at or contact us.