This is the fourth post in our series of posts around the importance of Health Information Exchange in transforming the Healthcare industry for better management of the individual’s healthcare journey throughout the lifecycle. In case you missed, the links to previous posts are as mentioned below:
Data & Humans: Perspective
The human body contains nearly 150tr gigabytes of information. That’s the equivalent of 75bn fully-loaded 16GB Apple iPads, which would fill the entire area of Wembley Stadium to the brim 41 times. Imagine collecting that kind of data for an entire population. The problem is that most of that information gets wasted through the cracks in our healthcare ecosystem.
The existing healthcare systems work in isolation all the way from birth till death. What is needed is a system that could integrate an individual’s healthcare journey throughout the lifecycle with an integrated ecosystem. The answer lies in health information exchange.
A health information exchange built on the back of advanced technologies will address the concern around data tampering & privacy widely prevalent among the care providers. As a matter of fact, blockchain combined with IoT & machine learning has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry by making sense out of every bit of data.
In a connected healthcare ecosystem, an individual’s healthcare journey can be mapped from birth to death across the stages of morbidity and until death.
Individual’s Life Journey: Stage 1
Birth registration will be the first entry point to the health information exchange. The registration will trigger the mandatory vaccination schedule and keep track of the same. A Blockchain-based database could be utilized to keep the birth information secure.
Stage 2: Infant
Unique ID based Health Information Exchange will be a trusted source of information for vaccination registry, child growth, and immunization history. Immunization registry will also help in tracking the total number of beneficiaries of the government-driven preventive care and other health schemes.
Birth & Immunization registry through the health information exchange will be helpful in ensuring that no child gets left behind for any of the mandatory vaccinations.
Stage 3 (Morbidity Level): Children
Children are most vulnerable to getting affected by external conditions. Also, many of ailments/defects inherited since birth becomes visible only when an infant progresses on the lifecycle curve. In such circumstances, the entire medical history of a child could be tagged to his/her unique ID and saved on the blockchain for eternity. A visit to the care provider- Hospital, Clinic, Individual Practitioner, Government Center, etc- could generate many types of medical data all of which could be a good reference point as a child progresses towards becoming a youth.
Stage 4 (Morbidity Level): Youth
The digital youth is ever-connected and ever-moving. No matter the place, work or time, the digital youth is always surrounded by the one type of screen or another. This is a transitory phase in the life of a child wherein he aspires for everything except taking care of his health. This is where advanced technology-enabled health information exchange could play a crucial role in terms of using smart wearables and mobile applications to track the health data of a youth.
Stage 5 (Morbidity Level): Adult
In healthcare journey, an adult is a stage when an individual goes for the planned care with things like surgery, dental checkup, Eye checkup, and things like that. In such a scenario, the previous clinical history helps the care provider in various ways. The planned care medical data gets tagged to the unique ID of an individual, secured on the blockchain with full access given to the patient to share it with any other ecosystem player during any stage of his life.
Stage 6 (Morbidity Level): Middle Age
Middle age is when preventive healthcare comes into the picture. Health checkups have become personalized and easy after the launch of smart and portable medical devices. Preventive healthcare data plays an important role in the healthy future of an individual because what follows the middle age is old age. It’s important that preventive healthcare data gets captured and shared on a real-time basis across the healthcare ecosystem.
Health Information Exchange is the hub of ecosystem integration and data sharing with control being in the individual’s hand
Stage 7 (Morbidity Level): Geriatric
In a healthcare journey, geriatric is a stage wherein an individual’s probability to live a healthy life depends upon his/her response to the chronic disease. An entire history of the individual’s healthcare data comes as a good aid in such circumstances. Health Information Exchange has a huge potential to provide pleasant patient experience, customized care, and pro-active patient engagement in case of geriatrics.
Stage 8 (Mortality): Death
Mortality registry is as important as the birth registry to prevent the system from misusing government schemes & funds. International Classification of Disease (ICD) code could be used to capture the reason behind emergency hospital admissions and the cause of death. In the time of death, an automated trigger could be sent using the HIE and unique patient’s ID to register the death with health and mortality database. The same data could be used by the local municipality to issue the death certificate in a hassle-free manner.
Content Inspiration: PwC report titled “Reimagining health information exchange in India using blockchain”
That’s all for this post. In our next post read about the healthcare stakeholder interactions in a connected ecosystem and the blockchain advantage. Subscribe to stay updated.
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