According to the Global Healthcare Blockchain Technology Market Report 2019, the global blockchain technology market in the healthcare industry will cross $500 million by 2022. With its innovative BCDB (Blockchain Database) solution, Modex – the blockchain database company – is ready to support this growth and to provide the right solutions, cost and time efficient, for healthcare industry enterprises.

Market background

As the healthcare market struggles to find a trade-off between the risk and reward of going digital, the potential application of blockchain technology provides a timely solution to mitigate some of its pressing needs around trust and security with digital workflows. A blockchain (or DLT) is a new data structure that creates trusted, distributed digital ledgers for assets and other data. It is an immutable record of digital events shared peer to peer between different parties. It can only be updated by the consensus of a majority of the participants in the system and, once entered, the information is very hard to erase.

Blockchain, from PoC to B2B

While relatively immature, blockchain in healthcare is slowly staring to migrate from pilot Proof of Concept (PoC) to select Business-to-business (B2B) commercial, demonstrating initial Return on Investments (ROIs) across enterprise-level B2B-focused initiatives. This will lure early adopters that have waited, to finally jump on board, creating the much-needed network effect in the healthcare space. Health insurance payers, providers and pharma companies are expected to be the early adopters of blockchain systems compared to other healthcare industry stakeholders.

As a part of this study, the author’s research team analyzed more than 250 vendors to understand their blockchain products/solutions/projects’ functional and application focus for the healthcare industry. To estimate the blockchain market size and future projection, a global analysis of current commercial deployments, major industry collaboration (consortia/working groups) on pilot projects, and funding trends have been undertaken.

Blockchain, a cure for inefficiencies in the healthcare industry

The healthcare industry is plagued by inefficiencies, errors, bureaucracy, and high administrative costs. From managing patient data to tracking drugs through the supply chain, blockchain could solve some of the healthcare industry’s biggest problems, including compliance, interoperability, speed, privacy data and security issues. Blockchain could also enable new patient-centric business models, bringing patients to the center of the healthcare ecosystem by giving them the power over one of their most valuable resources: data.

As the eco-system is built out, there will be more and more opportunities to deploy blockchain applications in the future. Blockchain-based technologies offer substantial opportunities to reinvent how healthcare companies access, collect, distribute, share, leverage, monitor and audit data.

Improving healthcare with Modex BCDB (Blockchain Database)

Modex BCDB is a new take on blockchain technology which removes the need to invest resources in blockchain training and facilitates fast adoption of the technology in businesses. The solution proposed by Modex is a middleware that fuses a blockchain with a database to create a structure which is easy to use and understand by developers with no prior knowledge in blockchain development. As a result, any developer who knows to work with a database system can operate with our solution, without needing to change their programming style or learn blockchain. Through our blockchain component, Modex BCDB is able to transform with minimal changes any type of database into a decentralized database which holds the same valuable characteristics inherent to blockchain technology: transparency, increased security, data immutability, and integrity.

Modex BCDB doesn’t work by deleting the existing database or data entries. The database is maintained intact throughout the process, data integrity is ensured by calculating the metadata of the records and storing it on the blockchain. The system does not restrict access to the blockchain or to the database, so when a developer needs to make a reporting or ETL transformations, they can perform warehouse analytics by accessing the database directly. This is because Modex BCDB has been purposely designed to be agnostic. With our solution, clients are able to set up a network, regardless of the type of database employed. In a consortium, each company can maintain what type of database they prefer and connect them through a blockchain-powered network to ensure cohesion while protecting corporate interests.

Advantages of using Modex BCDB in healthcare

Every entry in the system is recorded on the blockchain. Also, the platform will keep track of any modification made, together with a timestamp and the identity of the user who made it. Implementing Modex BCDB brings a lot of advantages:

Smart Data Access. The read operations can be done by accessing the database components directly. They can also be performed through optimized blockchain core queries to obtain records with confirmed and valid integrity check. All write operations are blockchain transactions which store references to database records location and payload hashes for integrity checks.

Record versioning. All data records are stored together with their historical versions since their creation. Every read operation can be done with a version parameter attached. This instructs the system which record version to retrieve to its caller. Record deletion is happening only at the database level, the actual blockchain references to records and records hashes are never lost. The delete operation is also marked in the blockchain trail of historical versions.

Security Permissions & Data Sharing. Traditional database engines provide access to users who can operate the data but there is no exchange mechanism between these users to access or share data between them. The Modex BCDB core engine allows data exchange between its system users. The process takes place at the record write level. Each record write request is associated with a security parameter which instructs the system what is the record visibility in regards to other system users.

Data Encryption. Data stored within network nodes can be encrypted or not. It is a matter of configuration and business requirements which data makes sense to be encrypted and which data should remain unencrypted. The encryption mechanism allows configurations to instruct the system to encrypt entire entity records or just particular fields within a record.

File Storage – File API. Our solution accepts regular file upload and offers developer interfaces for file retrieval as well. The data storage mechanism is designed to split the file in chunks and distribute them all over the network to ensure file availability, but also to increase the data retrieval speed.
Read more about blockchain’s potential to reshape the healthcare industry on our blog, in a dedicated article.