Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsBusiness

Blockchain tech can help protect patients' privacy, improve data security: Zelis CTO

Blockchain technology greatly reduces security risks and gives hospitals and healthcare IT organisations a much stronger line of defence against cybercriminals, as information stored on a blockchain cannot be copied or modified

July 22, 2022 / 10:14 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Noting that privacy and data security were the biggest issues plaguing the healthcare industry, Zelis CTO Kali Durgampudi said blockchain technology has the potential to alleviate many of these concerns and eliminate archaic paper-based processes.

A blockchain expert, Durgampudi is the chief technology officer at Zelis, a healthcare payments company.

“With cyberattacks becoming more and more frequent, implementing this technology will become essential to protect the sensitive patient and financial data. In the future, we will look back and ask why we didn't implement blockchain technology sooner,” Durgampudi said, speaking with Health IT news.

Blockchain reduces risks

He further said that blockchain technology greatly reduces security risks and gives hospitals and healthcare IT organisations a much stronger line of defence against cybercriminals, as information stored on a blockchain cannot be copied or modified.

Close

Blockchain can expedite healthcare payments

Another area where blockchain can play a pivotal role, according to Durgampudi, is healthcare payments as it can help expedite financial transactions between payers, providers, and members, contrary to emails and paper checks, that muddle and delay the payment process for all the involved parties.

“Yet blockchain technology offers a way to provide never-before-seen transparency for these transactions. Blockchain provides both payers and providers with complete visibility into the entire lifecycle of a claim, from the patient registering at the front desk to disputing a cost to sending an explanation of benefits,” he said.

Hospital cybersecurity breaches hit all-time high in 2021

According to a report from cybersecurity company Critical Insights, hospital cybersecurity breaches hit an all-time high in 2021, with 45 million individuals affected by healthcare cyberattacks, up from 34 million in 2020.

The number of cyberattacks against healthcare organisations has tripled since 2018, a pattern that has been replicated across the healthcare ecosystem.

Attacks against health plans increased by 35 percent from 2020 to 2021, and attacks on third-party vendors increased by 18 percent during the same time frame.

Blockchain can improve drug traceability and verification

Echoing similar sentiments, blockchain investor David Jia said blockchain technology can significantly improve drug traceability and verification, along with the data management of clinical trials, patient info, and claiming or billing.

“Accuracy in medical records over the long term as well as accessibility is essential, as it is necessary for an individual’s record to be able to be transferred between providers, insurance companies, and specialists with relative ease. If medical records are stored on a blockchain, they may be updated safely in almost real-time,” Jia, who holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Oxford University, wrote in a blog post on July 21.
Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
first published: Jul 22, 2022 10:03 pm
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark