What is Blockchain?

In simple terms, Blockchain technology means digital information stored in a public database. It stores information about transactions like the date, time and dollar amount of your purchases and who is participating in the purchases. It stores a digital copy of all your purchases/ transactions in different “blocks” that are differentiated by unique codes called a “hash”. So blockchain contains multiple blocks that have a history of all your transactions depending upon the size. Lets see an example to understand it better:

Suppose you are browsing through the Amazon website and you like a product. You go forward and buy that product. This starts a transaction between you and amazon .A block will record your name along with Amazon.com, Inc.Not actual name but a unique digital signature like a username. In many cases a block will group potentially thousands of transactions together, so that your Amazon purchase will also be packaged in the block along with transaction information from other users. After the transaction, your purchase is verified in Blockchain by a network of computers that checks (in seconds) whether the translation happened in the way it is shown i.e. they confirm all the details such as time and date of transaction, participants. After it gets a green light, the entire information is stored digitally in a block where it is likely to join hundreds or thousands like it.

Blockchain in Healthcare

So a blockchain is like a public or shared ledger that stores community transactions where they cannot be changed once they are published. The implementation of blockchain in healthcare is necessary; however, early implementations illustrated the potential for lowering healthcare costs, streamlining business processes and enhancing access to knowledge through disparate and diverse stakeholders working towards a common objective. The most important benefit of using Blockchain technology in healthcare is the amount of transparency it can bring in health insurance contracts. 

Blockchain in health insurance contracts 

Along with the advantages of universalizing stored health records, accessing the full medical history, the blockchain technology would offer transparency in contract execution and near-real-time claims settlement. Blockchain would also keep all stakeholders-healthcare providers, drug manufacturers and insurance firms-responsible for their actions. This can help raise trust between insurers and policy-holders, health care providers and patients. Revamping India’s health insurance sector supported by Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the blockchain technology can create a more secure, efficient, cost-effective, and consumer-friendly value chain.