Chicago, Illinois, United States, November 15, 2023 – The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important the healthcare system is. Developed countries with a good healthcare system were able to combat the virus faster and more efficiently than developing nations. According to a report published by Oxfam last year, the number of deaths from the virus was four times higher in poor countries than in rich ones.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. Vietnam was expected to be hit worse due to it being one of China’s neighbors. However, it defied the odds and had one of the lowest cases of COVID-19. In March, it recorded 2,529 confirmed cases, which amounts to about 26 cases per 1 million people. The global average at the time was a whopping 15,223 cases per 1 million people.
An article entitled “Vietnam’s success story against COVID-19” in the second volume of “Public Health in Practice” published in November, explored how the national and provincial governments of the “Land of the Blue Dragon” were able to successfully combat the virus better and ahead of the richer nations.
According to the article, Vietnam employed low-cost approach that includes “(1) rapid closure of borders; (2) strict implementation of quarantine protocols on foreign arrivals; (3) aggressive track-and-trace and isolation; (4) nation-wide social distancing and mandatory face mask wearing; and (5) systematic application of technology in tracking virus carriers.”
Vietnam’s experience in dealing with infectious diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), also played a part in its successful fight against COVID-19. But it is notable that the efficient tracking and tracing of confirmed cases through the use of technology is one of the cornerstones of its approach.
As can be seen in this case, the management of healthcare records is crucial when dealing with global crises, especially the tracking and tracing of the movement of infectious diseases. However, this does not only apply when a pandemic is imminent. The proper use of technology to manage healthcare data can also significantly improve the healthcare system of each country, as well as the entire world as a whole.
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Healthcare on Blockchain: Factors to Consider
Over the past couple of years, blockchain technology is steadily becoming known as an innovative technology that can bring about positive changes in the way digital data is recorded and stored. As a decentralized distributed ledger, it enables the immutable and chronological writing of data– each being processed as transactions.
Once a data block is full of transactions, it is connected to a previously completed block like a chain. Hence, the name “blockchain.” It is decentralized in that there is no central authority that is in control of the data; and it is distributed in that each node on the network always has an updated copy of the history of transactions.
This allows for a more efficient management of data, making it nearly tamper-proof and enabling easier monitoring and tracing. But a blockchain has to be able to scale on demand in order to be able to accommodate global data needs, as well as a high transaction rate. Imagine putting all healthcare data on the blockchain, and using it to record and store healthcare records as they happen.
This would entail massive data space, as well as an extremely high throughput, which is measured in transactions per second (TPS). For instance, the BSV Blockchain has restored the original Bitcoin protocol in order to enable unbounded scaling. Now, the BSV Blockchain continues to scale and has reached 4GB data blocks at 50,000 to 100,000 TPS, rivaling that of major credit card companies. These numbers will only grow bigger as the network scales.
Another crucial consideration in using blockchain technology for healthcare data are the transaction fee and time. Once a network constantly scales, it can lower down fees, as well as make the network more efficient. The BSV Blockchain is proof of this, maintaining an average fee of a mere $0.000003 per transaction at a near-instant transaction time of less than two seconds.
Comparing these figures with popular blockchains BTC and ETH will illustrate the point better. BTC is stuck at 1-2MB data blocks and seven TPS at a current average fee of $0.798 and processing time of between 10 minutes to one hour. ETH is doing a bit better averaging 14.5 TPS at a current average fee of $3.9 and a transaction speed of between 15 seconds to 5 minutes.
With these numbers, it is clear that scaling is the solution for blockchain to be able to accommodate present and future global data needs. And this is why Synerio, rebranded from EHR Data, has chosen to build its unified data platform on the BSV Blockchain. While Synerio now has expanded its business solutions to include any kind of data, its core expertise is still managing healthcare data.
Synerio: Leveling Up Healthcare Data Management
By combining healthcare data silos into a single unified silo, Synerio not only hopes to battle the current opioid addiction killing 150 to 250 people every day, but also aims to provide healthcare professionals, patients and other stakeholders with “a single source of truth” from anywhere in the world.
“With all these records in one place, it can be accessed from anywhere around the world. As a person moves throughout the world and requires access to their healthcare data or they need a healthcare service performed somewhere else in the world, they’ll have access to their original data,” Ron Austring, chief scientist of Synerio, explained in an interview.
“If it’s a prescription, it can be filled at a pharmacy in the United States, Canada or Great Britain while being checked against your drug profile to prevent drug interactions, etc.,” Austring added.
Healthcare records unified under one database can also provide real-time clinical data, better workflow integration, open line of communication between entities, and a way to easily track clinical and hospital services. Synerio takes it to the next level by bringing back ownership of data to patients, even allowing them to earn money from it.
If this kind of blockchain-based global healthcare database was available during the pandemic, imagine how much faster it could have been addressed. Tracking the virus would have been a lot easier, not to mention identifying symptoms and releasing important information to the public.
The pandemic should have taught the world how necessary unified healthcare data is, and how a truly scalable blockchain can aid in its development and launch. While the foundation of taking digital healthcare systems to the next level with blockchain has already been laid out, there is still much work to do.
Convincing governments and people in authority to adopt blockchain in recording electronic healthcare data is the more difficult part of the process. Until then, healthcare data is stored in data silos, with each institution monopolizing access to it and patients having to always request for their own clinic or hospital records.
Company: BSV Blockchain Org
Address: 29 North Wacker, Chicago, IL 60606, US