Blockchain systems, best known in connection with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, are networks of databases stored in different places that use securely encrypted messages to connect with each other over the internet. In simplest terms, it is a decentralized and incorruptible recordkeeping. Since data storage in healthcare industries is of critical importance in terms of patient safety and financial integrity, the possibility of using blockchain for healthcare data management has been raising lots of attention in both industry and academia in recent years. It has been reported that blockchain can be used as a distributed ledger to store healthcare–related data for sharing, exchanging, analyzing, recording, and validating purposes among various stakeholders of the healthcare sector. The paper of this paper is to review the basics of blockchain and illustrate current and future applications of this technology within the healthcare industry. While what we may see next is somewhat unpredictable, we hope to raise some issues that could serve as catalyst for further research of the topic.
Blockchain; Healthcare; Electronic health record (EHR)