blockchain opportunities for pharmaceutical care

Blockchain 
 Redefining health information exchange A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks,
which are linked and secured using cryptography. Records or blocks can contain any form of data. Like data exchange on currency, real estate or healthcare. The decentralized, open and cryptographic nature of blockchains allows people
to trust the system and transact peer-to-peer. Making the need for trusted intermediaries obsolete. One of the biggest advancements in blockchain is the so-called ‘smart contract’. This enables self-executing of conditional transactions within a machine-to-machine network. For example, if a patient enters a pharmacy, the patient wishes to get the prescription which the doctor placed in the virtual smart contract between pharmacist and patient. The pharmacist provides the drug, and the recorded transaction comes to the patient on a specific time. For the pharmacist, this ensures direct payment and automatic recording of transaction. For the patient, it ensures adequate drug-transaction-recording after automatic checking of conditions, like adverse events or contraindications. The code of the transaction cannot be interfered by either of the parties,
after the smart contract has been put on the blockchain. Thus, blockchain applications in pharmaceutical care may lead – amongst other benefits – to better informed healthcare providers, more secure health data transactions and improved
health claims management. However, blockchain technology still comes with a number of hurdles. Like the challenge of privacy and the uncertainty in regulation. Also better technical standards have to become available before broad adoption is possible. Will blockchain change the future of pharmaceutical care? Time will tell. Fact is it has proven its value in other industries already. One thing we know for sure: the future of digital pharmaceutical care has only just begun… 

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