The healthcare business is booming these days, as this sector is in dire need of some technological innovation. Even though most everyday consumers might feel the world of healthcare has evolved with leaps and bounds, there is still a lot of work left to do. Prenetics is one of the many startups exploring the healthcare market, and their focus lies on DNA testing. Perhaps blockchain technology can be of use down the line.
Every time the topic of DNA testing comes up, there will be privacy advocates claiming how this method is invasive and needs to be fine tuned. Prenetics has taken these comments to heart and come up with a solution that will reform the healthcare section as we know it. One way to achieve that goal is by making healthcare more accessible and reducing the overall costs.
Despite all of the wonders of healthcare these days, there are still millions of people suffering from adverse drug reactions. In fact, this is the world’s fourth leading cause of death, even though most of those adverse reactions are perfectly preventable. These numbers are not acceptable in this day and age, especially not with the knowledge and technology at our disposal.
To give an example of how important non-invasive testing has become: 30 million mainland Chinese women travel to Hong Kong every year during their pregnancy, simply because their method of testing is different from the home market. Such a large target demographic is the main reason to make this method of testing more accessible to people all over the world.
Most medical facilities use tests that are mathematically speaking completely safe, yet can induce respiratory distress or even miscarriages in some cases. Non-invasive tests, such as the ones developed by Prenetics, are far safer and more accurate. However, these non-invasive tests are not cheaper, as they will still cost roughly US$1,000 to perform.
In recent years, healthcare costs have been increasing by double digits year over year. To reduce that high number of annual costs, avoiding prescription of the wrong medicines would go a long way. While most doctors should know exactly what their patients need, wrong prescriptions still account for US$200b in annual costs in the US alone.
Creating new testing procedures to increase the patient’s security is a trend that can only be applauded. But healthcare is not just about testing, as there is also recordkeeping and patient confidentiality to keep in mind. Both of these latter segments need a revamp as well, as ensuring patient records are stored securely is of equal importance to providing proper healthcare.
This is where blockchain technology – and all platforms built on top of it – will play a key role in the years to come. Unlike traditional means of storing records, blockchain technology offers a far more scalable and secure alternative, which is completely tamper-proof and timestamped. Plus, by removing any central point of failure, it is impossible to “hack” the blockchain;
What are your thoughts on the advancements made in the healthcare sector recently? Do you see other use cases for blockchain technology other than recordkeeping? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Tech In Asia
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Prenetics
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