Interview How the blockchain and smart contract can be used for Healthcare data security

Interviewer: Lisa Prentice, TechMedia expert 

Interviewee: Gaurav Desai, Blockchain Data Security independent researcher 

Lisa: Good evening, Gaurav. I am pleased to have you join us today for this discussion on how the use of blockchain can be leveraged for the security of healthcare data. I would first like to know what brought you to this area being a software and operations professional. 

Gaurav: Good evening, Lisa. It’s my pleasure to be here. I am Gaurav Desai, currently working as a DevOps engineer as my profession. My interest in data security and blockchain has been developed since I first started thinking about my dissertation topic during my university days. I wanted to be innovative and security oriented at the same time I wanted to target the industry I have some knowledge of. As I previously worked for a renowned EHR solution provider as a senior programmer analyst and I studied Cyber Security as one of the majors in my studies, I connected the dots on the thought and it ended up on this topic. I have since contributed my skill and expertise to many product-led digital technology businesses. 

Lisa: Thank you, Gaurav. Could you provide our readers with an overview of how blockchain can be utilized to improve the data security of health records? 

Gaurav: Of course, Lisa. Blockchain technology comes with many key attributes that make it a well-aligned technique for securing healthcare data. By influencing decentralized, immutable ledgers, blockchain enables tamper-proof patient record transitions and provides an audit trail of access and modifications made in data. Using encryption techniques, sensitive healthcare data can be encrypted securely, shared, and transferred among authorized parties while maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality. Along with this while in transit, smart contracts play a vital part and that is something I focused more on in my research. It would be too vague to name it as the ideal concept for the future of healthcare data management in the EHR industry as it’s just a part of the research I was doing. This involved 3 types of smart contracts of which introduction or registration smart contracts are used to register new patients or new doctors into the system. The second one was monitoring or tracing smart contracts which was for overall monitoring of data while used and the third was the information sharing smart contract through which this data can be securely shared with the respective parties with appropriate limitations. This in combination with the blockchain concept would indeed take Healthcare Data security to the next level. 

Lisa: This is great! Would you be able to tell us if this is something already being initiated by some organizations in the industry? 

Gaurav: Not sure about this but I know several of them who are either looking to implement the blockchain or smart contracts to start with. The blockchain EHR solution was developed by MIT back in 2015 for the first time named MedRec. Although there is still not a fully implemented EHR system developed and functional after this as per my knowledge. There may be under-development projects at the individual level but implementing the data security acts and traditional practices in place like HIPAA may be a bit of a challenge for the EHR solution providers out there.

Lisa: Impressive insights, Gaurav. How do you see the adoption of blockchain technology in healthcare evolving in the coming years? 

Gaurav: I strongly believe that bringing blockchain and smart contracts into the industry will surely transform the healthcare industry. Imagine, there will be a higher level of security pre-implemented for the data, so data isn’t at stake and at the same time every involved entity will have 100% transparency to the data they need including the vendor. However, only necessary people will have the required access such as accessing translation logs and audit-related data. Such a decentralized culture in this industry itself would be a revolution and a new era for the EHR industry as a whole. 

Lisa: Thank you for sharing valuable insights, Gaurav. Before we conclude, do you have any recommendations for healthcare providers and organizations looking to enhance their EHR data security? 

Gaurav: My pleasure, Lisa. I would encourage healthcare providers and organizations to stay focused on security standards and parameters and at the same time also look towards implementing higher security practices by experimenting with the implementation of blockchain and smart contracts to make things much easier and implement upon the official approvals from industry set standards. 

Lisa: Great words there, Gaurav. Thank you so much for taking some time and introducing us to the coming revolutions in the healthcare data security segment. 

Gaurav: Thank you, Lisa. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. 

In The End of Interview

This interview sheds light on the potential of blockchain technology and smart contracts to enhance healthcare data security and transparency at the same time in the healthcare industry. It emphasizes on the importance of innovation and security wise safeguarding sensitive patient information in this fast-paced technological era.

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