Blockchain: The Next Healthcare Breakthrough?

Blockchain: The Next Healthcare Breakthrough

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many cracks in our healthcare system. If we take the “glass-half-full” approach, we can appreciate how the pandemic exposed our industry-wide weaknesses, so we can get to work making efficient and effective improvements for future public health crises. One healthcare game-changer that’s emerging as the dust begins to settle, is Blockchain technology. While Blockchain is still in its early stages of development and implementation, (think “the internet” in the late 1990s) you can expect to hear more about strides in Blockchain technology. It’s already transforming the financial world, and health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been advocating the benefits of this modernization tool for years. The application of Blockchain in healthcare represents the potential to reduce costs, streamline business processes, and improve access to information across diverse stakeholders working toward a common goal: patient-centered care.

Wait, what is Blockchain again?

Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions and it is ideal for delivering information because it provides immediate, shared, and completely transparent information that can only be accessed by permission network members. It is also the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin.

What are examples of how it can impact healthcare?

  • Identity Management – Patients, Providers
  • Medical Record Management
  • Medicaid Management Information Systems
  • Benefits Administration
  • Data Security
  • Reimbursement
  • Clinical Trial Management
  • Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

What are some important factors to consider when implementing Blockchain technology?

Reducing Costs: While organizations can expect some added upfront technology costs that are common in the adoption of any new technology, Blockchain can streamline the supply chain and administrative processes in healthcare, which may decrease costs.

Increasing Patient Control: Blockchain technology may have the potential to empower patients with greater control of their data and privacy. For example, the technology could enable patients’ access to their medical records across providers.

Improve Transparency/Security: While Blockchain is transparent it is also private, concealing the identity of any individual with complex and secure codes that can protect the sensitivity of medical data. The decentralized nature of the technology also allows patients, doctors, and healthcare providers to share the same information quickly and safely.

Security Vulnerabilities: While the technology provides resilience to certain types of attacks, nothing is ever entirely secure. It is still susceptible to zero-day attacks and technical bugs. Also, because this technology is almost always accessed by people, it is susceptible to one of the greatest risks in information technology: social engineering.

So, where does New York stand with this technology?

This past March, The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) organized a techsprint (a sort of extended hackathon with participation by both industry and regulators) to learn how to become better at regulating crypto companies. That the techsprint occurred at all is a signal of the evolution of the crypto industry, said Sandra Ro, the CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council and one of the event’s judges. Ro said it was significant that NYDFS is not only looking at how it can parse information it collects but also how it can integrate technologies like Blockchain into its supervisory process. “I think it is a testament to how far the crypto community has come from an industry standpoint to work with regulators and legislators and various bodies, to solve for critical problems in order for the industry to grow and scale, and become mainstream within regulation and guidelines,” Ro said.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the healthcare industry is constantly evolving and improving, and putting the patient in control with Blockchain technology would also make switching between healthcare providers a far simpler process than presently while ensuring that any information provided is complete and verifiably accurate. Reflecting on the pandemic, this could be incredibly transformative for future illness prevention, vaccination campaigns, wellness programs, and health training. At RBT, we understand the diverse and complicated world of healthcare, and we understand the first step to a brighter financial future is having important conversations about industry-specific topics that matter to you. Feel free to contact our team today, we hope to help your team succeed.

Sources: CDC, Coindesk, NYDFS, BuiltIn

Post-Pandemic School Trend Tracker

Post-Pandemic School Trend Tracker

Over the past several years, the homeschool population had been growing at an estimated 2% to 8% annually, but no one anticipated the explosion of remote learning that came with the pandemic. Whether you are an administrator, a teacher, a parent, a student, or some combination of those roles, there were growing pains felt throughout the education world. Communication breakdowns, bandwidth inequality, homework gaps, you name it and school districts did their best to navigate it. As a majority of schools announce they will resume full in-person learning this fall, we want to take a look at the trends that may be here to stay. After all, the pandemic forced us out of our comfort zones, pushed us to innovate, and challenged us to fail forward.

Remote learning will continue to bridge emergency closures.

We know, “Zoom fatigue” is real, but video conferencing will continue to allow student-teacher and peer-to-peer relationships to remain uninterrupted during future emergency closure situations when distance learning is the only option.

Schools will embrace more creative solutions.

The pandemic provided an ideal scenario to break away from stagnant practices and try new approaches. When face-to-face learning wasn’t an option, passionate educators created school spirit videos, planned drive-by graduations, and prompted virtual events to keep family members all over the world connected to our kids’ achievements. Those approaches helped boost morale, maintain traditions, and strengthen community belonging during extended school closures.

Parents and schools will communicate more, and (hopefully) more effectively.

The frustration was real on both sides, but the forced pivot to distance learning also had a welcomed effect: parents and educators felt more connected as communication increased. Gradually, appreciation grew for one another’s challenges and successes. Educators have commented that it’s one of the more positive trends they hope continues years after the pandemic has ended.

More college students will stay remote.

According to a report from Best Colleges, 49% of students who are enrolled in online classes plan to continue, even after their campuses return to in-person coursework, demonstrating how many students appreciate the distance learning environment.

Distance learning options will remain (at least for some).

Recent information collected by shows that 33% of college and trade school admins are planning to offer both online and offline education choices for students, even after governments ease up on social distancing requirements. If you plan to teach at this level, you’ll almost certainly need to stay up to date on the latest remote teaching developments.

More schools will officially embrace the Cloud.

You can’t teach a class without being able to share resources. Files stored in a secure, cloud-based location are fully customizable so you can set exactly who you want to be able to see and edit particular files. Another feature of cloud storage services is that multiple people can work on documents at once—perfect for getting students engaged in group-based activities or collaborations.

Final Thought

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to education. What works for one school—or one individual class—may be completely different from the requirements of another. Inevitably, schools and local and state governments will also need to address the barriers to internet access so remote learning assignments can be accessed by all students. At RBT, we are committed to keeping education professionals informed of important updates that may impact your future planning. We extend a no-cost consultation to anyone with further questions or interest in working with our dedicated team of professionals.


Sources: K12Dive, ELearning,