What The Hell Is Blockchain And What Does It Mean For Healthcare And Pharma?

Don Tapscott, author of the book entitled Blockchain Revolution said in his superb, no-frills TED Talk that blockchain is the technology that is likely to have the greatest impact on the next few decades. No, it’s not social media. No, it’s not big data, not robotics, not even artificial intelligence. It’s the technology behind the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

Stop there for a moment. So, blockchain will have more transformative power on our lives than Facebook, Instagram and Donald Trump using Twitter for diplomacy? How? Why? When? Is that true or is it another bubble shaping up in front of our eyes?

When looking at how fast companies in various industries are adopting blockchain, the latter question is certainly worth considering. According to Transparency Market Research, the global blockchain technology market is expected to be worth $20 billion(!!) by the end of 2024 as compared to $315.9 million in 2015. The overall market is anticipated to exhibit a 58.7 percent annual growth between 2016 and 2024. Moving faster than Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster in space. And the drivers of this massive expansion are innovators, start-ups, bold companies in finance, retail and manufacturing, government – and healthcare.

Due to blockchain’s ties to cryptocurrencies, most people believe that the financial system will adopt the technology soonest, but healthcare’s speed of leveraging blockchain seems to actually surpass it. A new IBM Institute for Business Value blockchain study, Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain, surveyed 200 healthcare executives in 16 countries. They found that 16 percent aren’t just experimenting; they expect to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale in 2017. Moreover, according to IBM’s estimation, another 56 percent will follow the first adopters until 2020. That means within 2 years!

Thus, it is high time to have a look at how and why the technology behind Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency in a great part powering criminals trading on the darknet could become the cornerstone of future healthcare. More briefly, let’s see what the hell blockchain is!

By Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD | The Medical Futurist

Image Credit: Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD/The Medical Futurist

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About Peter Coffaro 491 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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