Implementing Blockchains for Efficient Health Care: Systematic Review (Preprint)
Vazirani AA., O'Donoghue O., Brindley D., Meinert E.
<sec> <title>BACKGROUND</title> <p>The decentralized nature of sensitive health information can bring about situations where timely information is unavailable, worsening health outcomes. Furthermore, as patient involvement in health care increases, there is a growing need for patients to access and control their data. Blockchain is a secure, decentralized online ledger that could be used to manage electronic health records (EHRs) efficiently, therefore with the potential to improve health outcomes by creating a conduit for interoperability.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>OBJECTIVE</title> <p>This study aimed to perform a systematic review to assess the feasibility of blockchain as a method of managing health care records efficiently.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>METHODS</title> <p>Reviewers identified studies via systematic searches of databases including PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, EMBASE, ProQuest, and Cochrane Library. Suitability for inclusion of each was assessed independently.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>RESULTS</title> <p>Of the 71 included studies, the majority discuss potential benefits and limitations without evaluation of their effectiveness, although some systems were tested on live data.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CONCLUSIONS</title> <p>Blockchain could create a mechanism to manage access to EHRs stored on the cloud. Using a blockchain can increase interoperability while maintaining privacy and security of data. It contains inherent integrity and conforms to strict legal regulations. Increased interoperability would be beneficial for health outcomes. Although this technology is currently unfamiliar to most, investments into creating a sufficiently user-friendly interface and educating users on how best to take advantage of it would lead to improved health outcomes.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPOR</title> <p>RR2-10.2196/10994</p> </sec>