-0.3 C
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Blockchain can give us better Covid passports and lower healthcare costs, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Must read


Vaccine passports being banned which is developed to verify Covid-19 immunization status. (AP)
Vaccine passports being banned which is developed to verify Covid-19 immunization status. (AP)

by Rahul Pagidipati
CEO of ZebPay

More than a year into Covid, governments, the travel industry, and other organizations are looking to a Covid passport as a way to allow people to move more freely but still safely. Vaccine certificates have been around since long before the Covid pandemic. If you travel to South America or Africa, you need to present a yellow fever vaccination certification. Three things a Covid passport needs to record are a vaccination certificate, a test certificate, and a certificate of recovery proof.

Israel implemented the Green Passport model to reopen public facilities. The EU, the US, and South Korea are exploring Covid passports as a way to reopen businesses and public services.

Paper vaccine certificates are easy to forge, steal, or even destroy. A digitized certificate or document is not just more efficient, but also contactless, which is critical during a pandemic. Companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle, as well as major healthcare firms, have started exploring digital solutions to Covid passports.

Blockchain and its distributed ledger technology make Covid passports more efficient, secure, and private. Personal medical records should be private data, but often are not. Distributed ledger technology can ensure privacy for consumers by allowing them to share their information only where it is required.

IBM has already rolled out their Digital Health Pass app, backed by blockchain technology, to store and verify Covid test results and vaccination records. Organizations can integrate this app to reliably but confidentially keep records of their employees’ vaccinations and status.

Instead of requiring every person to have access to a smartphone app, however, you could link their record on the blockchain to the Aadhaar card or similar identity card, which every person has. By means of a barcode or QR code, the card could allow hospitals, clinics, public events, or service providers to verify the authenticity of a patient’s Covid test results and records.

Every time a patient checks in, gets tested or gets vaccinated, the healthcare provider can enter the new details just as they would into a centralized database, but instead the records would be recorded onto the blockchain’s distributed ledger, ensuring that it cannot be altered or tampered with.

Blockchain also reduces one of the biggest added costs in healthcare: backend processing of records. My company Anion.com, based in Hyderabad, has done healthcare BPO for over 20 years. I estimate up to 15% of healthcare expenses worldwide go to processing records, not treating patients.

Much of that processing, currently done by humans, could be done using smart contracts. Smart contracts are basically contracts or procedures turned into computer programs which execute the steps of the process after each condition is met. If the doctor has issued diagnosis X, then approve treatment Y, and so on.

Smart contracts can execute these steps automatically, with humans only needed for supervision. Since the blockchain ensures that the smart contract’s outputs can’t be undone or tampered with, it’s a double win: you lower the cost and increase the reliability.

Blockchain-based solutions like these are coming. Many companies and entrepreneurs are working on them already. The question is, how quickly will we adopt them and start benefiting from the lower costs and greater reliability they provide?

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly).


Source link

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article