New reports suggest that mutual aid platforms and insurance companies in China are using blockchain technology to speed up healthcare transactions and track the cases of coronavirus epidemic.
Xian Hu Bao, a blockchain-based mutual aid platform, has been issuing healthcare financial aid to over 10,000 participants. Recently, the platform added coronavirus in its health plan as an illness eligible for the maximum one-time payout of 100,000 yuan.
Blue Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Bank of East Asia, launched blockchain-backed claims to speed up medical insurance payouts thus reducing fraud in the process. In the fight against coronavirus, Blue Cross is using the blockchain-backed claims to eliminate the paper process. The lack of using physical documentation reduces the risk of infection that could be caused by face to face contact between patients and the uninfected population.
Integrating Blockchain Technology to Fight the Coronavirus
The healthcare industry has been working on solving its interoperability problem that has greatly hindered the system from serving its purpose efficiently. Analysts have discovered that the healthcare systems are prone to errors since they are challenged with issues like information blockage and lack of universal patient identifiers.
In fact, statistics from research done by ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization in the US show that out of 7600 reported wrong-patient events over three years, 9% of them resulted in harm or death of patients.
Although blockchain technology is not mature enough to efficiently handle a large amount of data that comes with the healthcare industry, it sure can solve issues of information sharing by creating patient information ledgers. This data can then be protected from corruption by the technology’s anti-tampering feature.
On the same note, another selling point of blockchain technology is its transparency and giving users the chance to track the data they are interested in. After over 1,000 people have succumbed to coronavirus, the outbreak raised public concern over the level of transparency that is applied in reporting the number of deceased and infected.
Fortunately, blockchain-based platforms such as Xian Hu Bao, are working to track the spread of the epidemic closely among its users and give more accurate stats of the infected.
There are many advantages of blockchain technology beneficial to the healthcare industry. The institutions that are already working with blockchain to serve their users like Xian Hu Bao and Blue Cross Insurance are a step ahead in boosting the adoption of the blockchain. But still, there are a few nitty-gritty details that need to be addressed before the healthcare industry can fully adopt the blockchain technology.