Personal technologies continue to play a key role in the consumerization of healthcare and patient engagement. Healthcare providers are looking to wearable technologies to monitor and improve everything from diabetes management to the daily lives of dementia patients. While this technology is making it possible for patients to live healthier, more independent lives, it could very likely come at the expense of a personal data breach.
PwC UK suggests in a new report that blockchain – yes, the encryption method used for Bitcoin – could be applied to secure data being passed from a patient’s wearable device to providers. In addition to providing security, blockchain would enable wearables to provide real-time, collated information and “allow health professionals to access a new level of visibility and a new set of data on the patient’s health.” Furthermore, blockchain could reduce costs and clerical errors, increase transparency, and provide a traceable record of the patient’s health events.
While blockchain would no doubt take wearable technology to a new level, the report does note that there are six criteria for blockchain to be implemented successfully:
- Multiple parties need to share data
- Multiple parties need to update data
- Verification is needed to ensure information can be trusted
- Intermediaries add complexity
- Interactions are time sensitive
- Transactions interact and are dependent on each other
BioIQ will be keeping a close eye on the development of a possible blockchain solution for wearable technologies and the impact it is sure to have on population health management.