Blockchain is an emerging technology that allows decentralized communities to establish a shared, trusted, permanent record of transactions. Blockchain's ability to establish consensus and guarantee an accurate history works even in the face of malicious actors with incentives to cheat, steal, or otherwise tamper with records.
Blockchain's decentralized approach, tamper-resistant features, and ability to broker "smart contracts" open up several potential applications in health care. It provides more efficient payment adjudication with payers and suppliers, improved supply chain integrity, better tracking of durable medical equipment management, robust audit and access logging, and decentralized health information exchange networks.
While blockchain has potential, it is still relatively immature and its complexity requires additional analysis of vendors proposing blockchain-based solutions.
This research report examines how blockchain works, explores the most promising applications, and provides specific guidance for organizations considering custom development or purchase of a blockchain-enabled application.