Securing Senior Data

By on Jun 11, 2019 in Technology

Senior medical records hold a vast quantity of sensitive data. As care providers strive to work together on patients’ behalf, that data is circulated and altered. There is minimal accountability when changes are made. The result is a chaotic web of transactions with incomplete and often inaccurate information. Additionally, the ever-changing tide of medical programs and coverage criteria impedes efficiency. Blockchain has the potential to improve the handling, accuracy, and accountability of senior records.Blockchain could be beneficial for senior living transactions

Hope for the Future, Today

Blockchain may improve the accuracy and efficiency of senior data transactions. It can masterfully create configurable records of transactions and other sensitive data, bundled together under a single patient profile and secured with cryptography.

When applied to provider directories, the technology can also be used to streamline the verification of benefits, eligibility, and legal authorizations. Currently, senior care providers have difficulty verifying benefits and confirming medical eligibility. The information needed is stored in directories that are regularly amended, lack cohesion and are sometimes riddles with redundancies. In its flawed state, maintaining the current provider directories costs about $2.1 billion each year.

When all the necessary data is updated and stored in a single location, caregivers are empowered to make better decisions, faster. Blockchain could revolutionize healthcare by creating an efficient system that is also secure, conforming to antitrust and privacy laws. That efficiency could lead to a lower cost of care.

Obstacles to Overcome

Blockchain technology is already in use at financial institutions and major corporations worldwide. In its current applications, blockchain successfully improves data-sharing between providers and payers. But before the technology is widely accepted, its advocates must overcome obstacles to blockchain adaption.

Trust is a major hurdle. For many, blockchain still feels too new to be trusted. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) surveyed 600 tech executives with organizations of revenues $1 billion or more.  About 45 percent of respondents said that trust was their biggest barrier to adoption.

“Blockchain, by its very definition, should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn. For one, users must build confidence in the technology itself,” states a PwC press release in response to the survey.

Blockchain forms a bridge between users, eradicates redundancies, and enforces accountability through digital signatures on every altered data set. Current databases can’t offer the same features. Yet blockchain seems too nebulous to sit easily with established institutions.

Executives’ primary concerns stem from a lack of regulation. About 48 percent of respondents were uncomfortable with blockchain’s lack of oversight.

On the medical front, the concerns are more basic. Blockchain advocates admit that the foundation of their plan is flawed: there is currently no way to access complete and current data that supports checks on medical eligibility and verification of benefits. It is possible, but consolidating the information requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders in the industry.

Join the discussion on collaborative solutions for blockchain applications.