The Importance of Advanced Data Management Solutions in Healthcare

The Importance of Advanced Data Management Solutions in Healthcare

The healthcare sector is recognizing the growing importance of advanced data management solutions to effectively manage, govern, exchange, and analyze both internal and external datasets. As data breaches continue to pose a significant threat to patient privacy, organizations are exploring innovative ways to enhance data protection. In the United States alone, 87 million patients fell victim to data breaches in 2023, more than doubling the number from the previous year. To address these challenges, healthcare organizations are turning to the integration of blockchain technology with other technologies to create more efficient data management systems.

Traditionally, the healthcare industry has relied on outdated data management methods that perpetuate data silos, making it difficult to connect and share information. Amber Hartley, Chief Strategy Officer at BurstIQ, a blockchain-based platform-as-a-service, emphasizes that traditional data management is limited to internal data and fails to account for the complex ecosystem of organizations, vendors, partners, applications, and individuals involved in healthcare data management.

To overcome this limitation, BurstIQ has developed a solution called “smart data” by combining blockchain technology with machine learning and privacy-enhanced technology. Smart data includes privacy, permissions, history, context, and trust directly embedded into generated data across various sectors. With smart data, privacy and security are no longer bound solely to the security of the database in which it resides. BurstIQ’s data management system, LifeGraph, is currently being used by several healthcare organizations, including The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, to improve data quality, unification, governance, and security across multiple stakeholders.

Furthermore, blockchain technology plays a crucial role in enhancing data management in healthcare. By leveraging blockchain, patients gain control over their identity and data, allowing them to grant access to specific information through smart consent contracts. The integration of blockchain also enables secure multi-party computation (MPC), allowing parties to jointly analyze data without revealing their inputs. Kurt Nielsen, President of the Board at Partisia Blockchain, describes MPC as a privacy-preserving computation network that builds trust in a trustless system. Partisia Blockchain is working on a data management solution that combines MPC with private patient healthcare data provided by Verida.

Verida Network, the first self-sovereign database network for storing private data, plays a crucial role in empowering patients to control their healthcare-related data. Patients can utilize the Verida Wallet to claim their healthcare or fitness activity tracking data from multiple third-party systems. This data is stored and encrypted on the Verida Network, ensuring that only the user can access it. Healthcare research organizations can then request and process verified, anonymous healthcare data for research purposes. This is achieved by utilizing the Partisia blockchain and Verida developer software development kits to build applications that interact with the user’s Verida Wallet and submit data to privacy-preserving smart contracts on the Partisia blockchain. The resulting research output is obtained with consent, anonymously, and with full data privacy.

Partisia and Verida have been collaborating closely with healthcare organizations to enable better data analysis while preserving patient data privacy in a regulatory compliant manner. MPC technology decentralizes data storage, making it more challenging for hackers to gain unauthorized access to patient data. MPC has gained prominence in the crypto world as a trusted technology utilized by crypto wallet providers and custodians to secure assets.

However, the adoption of blockchain technology in healthcare faces several challenges. Privacy concerns hinder the incorporation of traditional blockchain networks due to their transparency. To address this, healthcare companies should leverage blockchain as part of a broader service stack that offers benefits such as privacy-based capabilities. Blockchain alone does not guarantee data privacy or regulatory compliance; it must be combined with other privacy-enhancing technologies. Companies in the blockchain space must demonstrate that their technologies adhere to stringent data privacy and security requirements outlined in healthcare regulations.

While the fundamental architecture of blockchain implementations may present challenges, technology advancements and the rise of web3 services suggest that blockchain will play an essential role in the future of healthcare data management. By unifying digital experiences across a person’s health journey, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the industry and improve patient outcomes.

As the healthcare sector continues to grapple with the increasing volume of data and the need for enhanced data protection, advanced data management solutions are becoming indispensable. The integration of blockchain technology, machine learning, and privacy-enhancing technologies offers a promising approach to address data management challenges in the healthcare industry. As healthcare organizations strive to meet stringent data privacy and security requirements, blockchain technology, alongside other innovative solutions, has the potential to transform healthcare data management and improve patient care.

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