The role of blockchain technology in telehealth and telemedicine

Raja Wasim Ahmad, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Ibrar Yaqoob, Samer Ellahham, Mohammed Omar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. Telehealth and telemedicine systems aim to deliver remote healthcare services to mitigate the spread of COVID-9. Also, they can help to manage scarce healthcare resources to control the massive burden of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. However, a large portion of today's telehealth and telemedicine systems are centralized and fall short of providing necessary information security and privacy, operational transparency, health records immutability, and traceability to detect frauds related to patients’ insurance claims and physician credentials. Methods. The current study has explored the potential opportunities and adaptability challenges for blockchain technology in telehealth and telemedicine sector. It has explored the key role that blockchain technology can play to provide necessary information security and privacy, operational transparency, health records immutability, and traceability to detect frauds related to patients’ insurance claims and physician credentials. Results. Blockchain technology can improve telehealth and telemedicine services by offering remote healthcare services in a manner that is decentralized, tamper-proof, transparent, traceable, reliable, trustful, and secure. It enables health professionals to accurately identify frauds related to physician educational credentials and medical testing kits commonly used for home-based diagnosis. Conclusions. Wide deployment of blockchain in telehealth and telemedicine technology is still in its infancy. Several challenges and research problems need to be resolved to enable the widespread adoption of blockchain technology in telehealth and telemedicine systems.

Original languageBritish English
Article number104399
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • COVID-19
  • Security
  • Smart contracts
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

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