Telemedicine provides easy access to world-class healthcare to residents of small towns and cities. Those living in small towns and cities, where excellent healthcare facilities are absent, benefit from telemedicine. They don’t need to waste time and money travelling to large urban centres to meet physicians. With e-clinics nearby, they only need to go a short distance to be examined by a specialist.
The advantages of telemedicine extend beyond e-clinics. Wearable devices that monitor the body help people keep a check on their health. Such devices are a growing part of the healthcare infrastructure. More and more people wear such accessories to make sure their body is performing optimally.
E-clinics and wearable devices are part of a robust medical infrastructure, but their use presents a challenge as well. Both e-clinics and wearable devices generate and share data. The generation and sharing of data by these devices is a crucial part of their functioning. Without sharing data, insights that are vital to patients’ health are never uncovered. Third parties can hack data shared by such devices. When private medical data falls into the wrong hands, the result can be catastrophic for the rightful owners of such data.A critical defence in keeping data generated by telemedicine and e-clinics secure is blockchain.
Data Security and Blockchain
Blockchain is an immutable digital ledger that ensures data remains secure. It is a technology that facilitates the secure exchange of data. As blockchain’s digital ledger is widely shared, it can't be hacked.
Blockchain has many benefits for telemedicine. If a third-party views an exchange between a patient and doctor over a telemedicine network, it could lead to the leakage of sensitive personal information about the patient. Blockchain prevents such a leak because a third party cannot view a telemedicine session that is secured by a blockchain. Hence all personal information that is shared between a patient and doctor remains personal.
In households where members wear wearable devices to monitor their health, blockchain can help prevent the data generated by such devices from falling into the hands of third parties.
Blockchain Secures Stored Data
In addition to securing transmitted data, blockchain also keeps stored data secure. Using blockchain healthcare providers can store medical records in fragmented, reliable systems. An advantage of using such methods is that vast quantities of patient data can be stored and encrypted. Data stored over the years can be shared only with those who have the right to access such data.
Mechanics of Blockchain
A blockchain is shared only with a trusted patient and party. When a patient is added to a blockchain, their computer receives the blockchain’s copy. This copy is continuously updated as and when a new block of information is added. The only ones who can access the data stored on the blockchain are those with access to a private key. For this reason, a blockchain is nearly impossible to hack.
The Need for Blockchain
Blockchain is vital to the growth of telemedicine. Without it, millions of patients in the interior of the country may not feel comfortable sharing private health-related issues with doctors. When patients know that their conversations and data are secured by blockchain, they will feel at ease sharing their concerns, even if they don't understand the technology.