Blockchain is turning into a blockbuster technology for the healthcare industry. In a survey of 200 healthcare executives done by IBM, healthcare institutions are investing heavily in Digital Transformation (DX) blockchain pilots, with nine in ten respondents planning to invest by 2018 across various business areas. This technology is expected to have a profound impact on the patient experience and solving healthcare challenges.
Like most industries, healthcare is drowning in data from electronic medical records, medical research, and more. Blockchain offers a way to safely manage the deluge, as its foundational distributed ledger technology ensures data integrity. In addition, according to a recent article in HealthData Management, blockchain provides an immutable record of digital events securely shared peer-to-peer between different parties. As such, blockchain can help transform healthcare with access to medical history, whether you are a patient or provider. For example, if pharmacists have access to a secure common database of health information, then it will be a lot harder for people to abuse medical prescriptions (Rx) and overdose. The patient and provider benefits don’t stop there. Blockchain can help with accurate diagnoses, improve treatment outcomes, and reduce supply chain inefficiencies like human error. But blockchain also adds complexity to the IT infrastructure, especially when paired with Medical Internet of Things (MIoT), machine learning, and mobile health. Because blockchain is basically a highly distributed database, it makes assuring service delivery more difficult, and companies need clear visibility into healthcare application interdependencies to get ahead of performance problems before they become patient or provider problems.
The blockchain revolution isn’t a matter of “if” — it’s a matter of “ready or not, here it comes.” The disruption is being felt in healthcare as information is securely shared and trusted. A recent IBM blog noted blockchain makes it possible to collect, store, protect, and share health data and enable its real-time use without violating regulatory requirements. That puts a huge burden on IT teams to deliver on this promise. Application performance degradations or service disruptions are simply not acceptable when a patient’s health is concerned. So, what can the IT organization do to speed problem resolution and fuel innovation?
The IT organization can use Smart Data to prevent and troubleshoot critical issues that could seriously impair healthcare delivery. For example, consider the impact of performance degradation on any one of the following applications:
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
- Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM),
- Diagnostic systems
- HL7 communications
- Pharmacy and accounting services
By measuring actual transactions and understanding service dependencies, wire data is turned into Smart Data to gain actionable insight to ensure the reliable and uninterrupted delivery of crucial healthcare applications. Learn more about NETSCOUT’s healthcare solutions by clicking here.
~ Ron Lifton, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, NETSCOUT