Each patient generates many megabytes of information annually, from electronic medical records to activity logs on fitness trackers. The degree of information and variety of sources is growing exponentially, churning out a wealth of knowledge about patients’ medical histories, socio-economic circumstances, consumer preferences and lifestyles. In 2018, totals were expected to reach 2,314 exabytes by 2020, which is 46,280 times all of humanity’s works ever written.
Who needs healthcare data and why?
This amount of data can be very meaningful for the healthcare industry’s further transformation. It’s no secret that despite the enormous global healthcare spending (around $8 trillion according to the OECD), performance on outcomes that matter to patients varies several folds between countries with similar economic profiles and also among providers within those nations. Some countries spend significantly more yet achieve significantly less in terms of healthcare quality.
Even worse, this expenditure is predicted to continue rising significantly to cater to an ever-aging population experiencing higher rates of chronic disease. At some point, the value of provision becomes unsustainable and care quality suffers.
Technological hazards and inconveniences
Technologies already exist to capture and harness data, enabling significant improvement in care outcomes while reducing cost and waste. However, these technologies currently operate in silos, using different frameworks and standards and storing information in ways which other systems cannot understand. For example, data captured within the electronic health records system of hospital “A” is commonly uninterpretable by the electronic health record system of hospital “B”. This ultimately prevents health ecosystems from leveraging the vital power of knowledge to assist in preventing sickness, better treating patients who are sick, and confirm a high quality of life post-treatment.
Many hospitals and healthcare organisations utilise a mess of assorted legacy software and proprietary data systems. A lack of interconnectivity amongst all devices in conjunction with outdated IT security leaves organisations highly at risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches. As physician practices still increasingly depend on telemedicine and virtual offices, the necessity for enhanced security measures is now more profound than ever.
The majority of healthcare professionals lack the adequate cyber risk training necessary to shield critical user information. Smaller healthcare organisations simply don’t have the resources necessary to prioritise IT and cybersecurity.
How could the situation be improved?
It is absolutely imperative to take measures to prevent breaches of healthcare information.
First and foremost, this data is extremely personal to the victims. Imagine if your own medical history was on display for the world to see and misuse. While this may seem unlikely, in January 2019 it became known that the HIV positive status of 14,200 people who either lived in or visited Singapore had been leaked online. Such information becoming public could be life-changing. Most worryingly, such a crime could happen to any of us.
This is where the blockchain network comes in. With the help of Cardano, Immunify.life has built a unified ecosystem that brings reliable data collection, storage, and analysis to places that used to lack such services. That includes not only African countries like Kenya and Zambia, but also the United States, where healthcare is not equal for everyone.
Only together could we overcome the severe healthcare data management crisis. With the help of blockchain technology and accessible applications, people could access their own medical data in seconds. A special reward system is meant to encourage patients to share this data, so the government and non-governmental organisations can have a clear picture of current healthcare challenges and their extent.
Immunify.Life is a transformative and self-sustaining healthcare ecosystem secured by blockchain with the mission to transform the landscape of health management and data utilization. The project leverages the power of Big Health Data and Artificial Intelligence to ensure seamless movement of de-identified patient healthcare data.
Immunify.Life has established a strong presence in Africa with a team that has over 60 years of combined experience in the relevant industries. It is a world-first holistic and self-sustaining ecosystem to solve global health management crises and data collection challenges.