Application of Blockchain Technology in Hospital Information System

Deepa Elangovan, Chiau Soon Long, Faizah Safina Bakrin, Ching Siang Tan, Khang Wen Goh, Zahid Hussain, Yaser Mohammed Al-Woraf, Kah Seng Lee, Long Chiau Ming

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookOther chapter contributionpeer-review


Hospital Information System (HIS) is a comprehensive, homogenized information system, whereas blockchain is normally defined as blocks joined together by using cryptographic secure hash function, which forms a chain that is time-stamped. The most important features or functions of blockchain technology are decentralized, distributed ledger, immutable, private, and agent of trust instead of centralized, hidden, exclusive, and alterable architecture. The objective of the initiation of HIS is to improve the quality of public healthcare services particularly in enhancing patient satisfactions and management of record. On the other hand, through blockchain technology, confidential and verified transactions can be carried out directly among third parties by mass collaboration. In this comparative review, the type of HIS and the purpose of HIS are presented. The advantages of HIS in terms of a reduction in transcription error and duplication of information entries as well as monitoring of drug usage are also discussed. On the other hand, disadvantages of HIS in terms of fragmented health data, insufficiency of financial sources, maintenance requirement by different departments, confidentiality issues, low acceptance level, technical and infrastructure issues, and system breakdown are elucidated. Meanwhile, the history of blockchain technology, fundamental properties of blockchain technology, and types of blockchain technology are also presented. Blockchain technology was found to be useful in the real healthcare environment, mainly on the management of electronic medical records, biomedical research and education, remote patient monitoring, pharmaceutical supply chain, health insurance claims, health data analytics, and some other potential areas. The need of blockchain technology and its advantages in healthcare sector such as patient data management, payments and reimbursement, drug and medical device traceability, medical research, regulatory procedure, and clinical trials are discussed. Disadvantages of blockchain technology in healthcare sector are also presented. The loss of key which is used to access information is a real threat in blockchain technology. Key is defined as a unique series of digits and characters in blockchain technology. Other issue that may arise from the application of blockchain technology in the future might be the lack of awareness and adoption. A shallow understanding regarding the blockchain technology and its mechanism will lead to problems in the development of blockchain technology in the future. Greater operation and development costs are needed in the blockchain technology in the healthcare sector, which will be defined by the government as well as the healthcare sector. The main reasons for the implementation of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector were identified, namely, data integrity, access control, data logging, data versioning, and non-repudiation. This review makes a comparison of the functions of blockchain technology and HIS in the real healthcare environment. An overall understanding on the usability of blockchain technology as well as HIS in healthcare sector is analyzed. This study will help other researchers and practitioners to gain better understanding of blockchain technology and HIS in the healthcare sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMathematical Modeling and Soft Computing in Epidemiology
EditorsJyoti Mishra, Ritu Agarwal, Abdon Atangana
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781003038399
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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