We are starting to see Blockchain based disruptive technologies, solving real world problems.
Bitcoins are mined. Mining is a computationally intensive process. Mining with CPU and GPU has already gotten to a point where the profitability is almost trivial. The energy consumption is higher than the output that can qualify as profitable. Some discussions on the Internet are asking the question, “Isn’t Bitcoin mining with high energy inputs a cause for environmental concern?”
There is another discussion starting to happen in the Bitcoin skeptics society lately, as well.
- A Quora Question: Does the process of Bitcoin mining solve any real-world problems?
- A Reddit discussion: What real world Problems can Bitcoins solve right now?
Please note that there is no such actual society in existence by the name “Bitcoin Skeptics Society,” I just chose the nomenclature as an umbrella term.
Blockchain For A Better Healthcare Infrastructure
“when we are sitting here in 20 years, we’ll be talking about Bitcoin the way we talk about Internet Today”.
And we are starting to see the investment cycles in Bitcoin & Blockchain based technologies already catching up. The recent $75 million raised by Coinbase, especially at the point when Bitcoin’s value was at the not-so-promising $200, is a symbol that the underlying blockchain is more valuable than the potential of Bitcoins itself.
It is in this light that the blockchain ledgers are starting to be seen. Almost every system in existence in our current world ranging from currency, crowdfunding, commodities, privacy issues, ownership verification to assets and even healthcare, have at least one problem that can be solved with the blockchain technology infrastructure.
BitHealth — Healthcare Records With Bitcoin.
BitHealth is an interesting startup from Baltimore. It is a healthcare information technology company, that focuses on the personal healthcare. Patient centric Electronic Healthcare Record [EHR] Systems and cloud based personal healthcare systems are already commonplace. Blockchain based personal healthcare, can only be a sweet addition to our better future.
Problems of the Healthcare industry
Having consulted large names in the healthcare industry for their strategic moves to exploit the shifting technological landscape, I can safely conclude that these are the main problems for the current leading players in the market, like GE Healthcare, EPIC, Cerner, McKesson etc.
- Personal & Healthcare Records management [EHR and EMR]
- Moving from legacy systems to cloud based solutions
- Developing solutions to capture the low bandwidth developing economies
- Trusted, Robust, Un-hackable systems to encrypt personal data of patients
- Keeping the whole system unaffected by the fragility of Internet
Solving Real World healthcare Problems with Blockchain.
Blockchain technology can single handedly disrupt the way our healthcare systems works, for good. Patients can hold the private key to their personal health data and the public keys can be used to partially share certain parts of the data, when required.
- The health data can be securely stored and transmitted around the globe in seconds.
- The data is stored in the nodes, a better structure compared to centralised storage of all the healthcare data — as traditionally the companies use the data to sell it to pharmaceuticals and insurance companies for better inventory management.
- The medical records can be decentralised.
- Time-stamping of health status updates can notify doctors when fluctuation happens to the person’s health.
Author Note: The potential is huge. And yes, the answer is — Blockchain and Bitcoin technology can indeed be used to solve real world problems. Healthcare is just one example.
Image Screenshot from: https://bithealth.io; other image from Wikipedia.