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In experimental research carried out to validate the efficacy of drugs, medical devices and other treatments, the safety of the process of verification and transparency are crucial aspects. The adoption of blockchain-based solutions allows for greater transparency and data security, as well as making it possible to automate the evaluation of results, facilitating the data quality & auditing activities.
The application of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) in the healthcare sector makes it possible to collect medical data that can be used to carry out analysis and monitoring activities. Currently, however, the data collected does not offer medical personnel a single view of the patient’s health. The creation of smart contracts in the blockchain makes it possible to identify any anomalous data, thus providing a complete data view of the patient, as well as automating related processes (e.g., sending notifications, booking medical visits, facilitating automatic reconciliation with third parties such as insurance companies).
Currently in Italy, as far as the management of exemptions is concerned, there is no integrated control during the provision of services, thereby increasing the risk of fraud. By centralising information through blockchain technology, greater control can be guaranteed, both in terms of verifying expenditure and when it comes to the certification of information. Moreover, through the use of a single register, information can also be made available at national level.
The management of chronic aspects as far as care/treatment is concerned, compliance and management of health expenditure takes place through the definition of specific Diagnostic Therapeutic Assistance Pathways (PDTA) at regional level. The management of these processes through the adoption of blockchain-based solutions makes it possible to have immediate control of the specific treatment plan and the related health expenditure, monitoring – in a certified way and in real time – every phase of the treatment path at the various hospitals in which the patient is treated, thus improving the management of resources and the effectiveness of care.
The secure sharing of health data between medical facilities or insurance companies through the blockchain provides protection from the risk of fraud related to omissions, as well as from data loss, while also ensuring control over access to information with the utmost respect for the patient’s privacy. Indeed, once the data has been uploaded to the health authority's blockchain-based database, any changes to the same data made by one of the integrated applications can be disclosed, made available and logged for collaborative control purposes.
Legally, genetic data represents a particular category of sensitive data. This data must be managed with the highest level of security, both as regards the data itself and for the privacy of the patients involved. Blockchain technology makes it possible to create a single platform for the management of this data, guaranteeing the integrity of the data and identifying with certainty the actor in the supply chain that generated it and entered it into a shared database.
The use of blockchain-based services to track drugs, supply chains and distribution conditions along the entire supply chain, from the manufacturer to the patient, enables the creation of a shared and secure electronic register for tracking information accessible to all operators involved, overcoming the limitations of current “silo-based” systems.
The need to quickly restart the world economy in the post-Covid-19 world has generated great interest in an approach that provides for the storage of health data in applications that certify an individual's health status. To be effective, any tool used must be secure and able to prevent fraud, IT risks and the misuse of data. Blockchain technology is the ideal solution in this context, since it offers a distributed and secure infrastructure. Following this approach, Reply, in collaboration with a number of partners, has developed HealthCred, a blockchain-based application that acts as a health passport, allowing citizens to register securely in any public place.