The Holy Trinity: Blockchain, Medical Records and Wearable Tech
Technological advancements in this day and age are seen as both a blessing and a curse. Innovation is always heralded with anticipation and hesitation at the same time, leaving the door wide open for mass consumption of technology that isn’t properly protected. Recent innovations, such as wearable tech, might prove to be a security risk […]
Technological advancements in this day and age are seen as both a blessing and a curse. Innovation is always heralded with anticipation and hesitation at the same time, leaving the door wide open for mass consumption of technology that isn’t properly protected. Recent innovations, such as wearable tech, might prove to be a security risk in the near future. While mass adoption of wearable tech will not happen just yet, protecting medical records is becoming a key point of focus.
Taking Healthcare Record Security to a New Level
One of the more important aspects of life is a person’s medical records. Not only do these records contain valuable information regarding an individual’s physical and mental history, but they are also filled with sensitive financial information. A date of birth, social security number, and other information, is of high value to hackers looking to commit identity theft.
Even storing medical records in the cloud is no longer a viable option in our society, as cloud services are prone to attacks and data loss as well. In fact, there only seems to be one way forward, and that is using decentralized database solutions, powered by blockchain technology. Doing so would remove any central point of failure from the equation while bringing top notch security to boot.
Under current legislation, medical records have to be protected in an adequate fashion. If the companies and institutions in charge of this protection are to be believed, there is nothing wrong with the current system, and all involved parties considering this responsibility a top priority. However, traditional systems are also prone to data breaches and hacking attempts, and things need to change sooner rather than later.
Storage of medical records wouldn’t be the only benefit of embracing decentralized, blockchain-based solutions. Internal communication between medical practitioners, mental institutions and hospitals would become far easier, more transparent, and more convenient. In the end, this creates a win-win scenario for all parties involved, especially the patients.
Factom is one of the major companies looking into harnessing blockchain technology for these kinds of purposes. In fact, Factom is working hard on rolling out a blockchain-based solution for keeping records and managing data. Medical records and Factom would be a perfect match, as it would combine the best of both worlds into one powerful and secure solution.
The Factom platform is built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and allows for instantaneous communication around the world. Because the Bitcoin network is completely decentralized — and supported by computers across the globe — storing medical records on such a powerful and robust technology seems to be a no-brainer.
Contrary to the technological innovations taking place in the medical field itself, these changes do not trickle down to the way medical records are kept and secured. It is worrying to note this situation will only change once something has gone wrong, rather than taking the necessary steps proactively. Healthcare IT is moving at a snail’s pace in this regard, but that business model is no longer acceptable or viable.
Decentralized data and record keeping solutions such as Factom can also play a pivotal role in other sectors. Preventing the breaching of confidential data is just one of the many aspects, as the same technology could also play a role in the development of wearable technology in the near future.
Wearable Technology Meets Blockchain Technology?
Wearable technology is another major innovation that seems to be taking the world by storm, despite its huge potential for security risks. Most wearable technology products are just a “secondary screen experience” for whatever is going on with your mobile device, but that situation could change in the near future.
That being said, every piece of wearable runs an operating system, which could be vulnerable to malicious attacks. Using technology solutions such as Factom would keep data stored safely on the blockchain, rather than keeping it on a device located on your wrist or neck.
There are major hurdles to overcome when it becomes to these disruptive technological innovations. Factom, wearable technology, and even the decentralization of services are all being greeted by wariness at this time. However, by creating use cases nearly every person on the planet can relate to, Factom and the blockchain will make the world a safer place, and not just for wearable gadgets or medical records.
Bringing blockchain technology to any aspect of life is an uphill battle. Most people, especially those in seats of power, are stuck in their traditional ways of thinking. Until they can see how platforms like Factom can improve upon existing solutions, they will not be swayed to make any changes. Sooner or later, these institutions will come across an issue they can no longer solve through traditional means, and that is the moment when blockchain technology will make sense to them. However, it will be too late by then, as they will have lost the trust of their customers.
Would you trust the blockchain with your medical records or wearable tech? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of My Housecall MD, Emerging Ed Tech, Shutterstock
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Bitcoin.com.