Hi, I’m from the US originally & while not employed in the healthcare industry, I am a supply chain undergrad with a masters in business admin … I’m also a cancer survivor.
My experience navigating the US healthcare system was not as physically demanding as my treatment - but it was mind boggling to peer into a system so critical to life, yet so segmented from not only an operations based (process & control) perspective, but also from a financial perspective.
In short, I don’t believe “universal” (i.e. global) and equal coverage is possible. There will always be exceptionally capable individuals, and laggards that tip the scale of quality in one direction or the other. (Even “good days” and “off days” for average medical professionals).
My point is at a certain point, inequality is baked into the equation to a certain degree.
That said, it’s undeniable blockchain has a role to play. The issue is the speed at which we can develop and implement solutions. Human nature is our biggest challenge to overcome, because there is an imbedded hierarchy that some people deserve more than others, or at least the same as others … and that person is usually “me”.
Where I do see opportunity or blockchain to step into the medical field is certainly in tracking inventory… the entire supply chain is ripe for improvement. Further, to establish a more robust method of verification (consensus) in not only prescriptions, but in standardizing the data points that are used to decide on prescriptions. The industry is due for a leg up in “standardization” (i.e. one source of truth).
For example, when I was diagnosed with cancer I was traveling. As a result, my blood was tested by three labs within the US within the same week… guess what? Three totally different lab results. It seemed my indicators were “all over the place” … I asked enough questions to determine the labs were using different testing methods & equipment. Yet… my results were all compared against the same “standards”, and my doctors were using the data to diagnose me. I imagine blockchain consensus (big data / AI) could play a role in controlling results - flagging testing centers with skewed averages from certain labs for Q&A, and drive more research & further standardization into test equipment, and even challenge “recognized standards” or link new correlations between indicators.
The other use case I’m curious about is verification of care required. There is a ton of waste in healthcare. Unnecessary testing, scanning, medication, etc. I wonder if blockchain consensus building could establish a process to cross reference various data points and verify a degree of confidence that the prescription is appropriate. This could also work in invoicing… cross checking material costs & labor costs for “standard” procedures, to ensure medical firms are stuffing costs into cases covered by insurance to “help” the guy without insurance…
Which leads me to another use case… if there could be a crypto currency developed as “healchare money”. Where hospitals, insurance companies, and healthcare companies all contribute to the crypto currency as a community, building wealth into the community they serve, not to enrich those that can afford to buy a share of the companies stock - but to enrich the profession / community that they serve.
Who knows… but interesting topic.