From amongst the disruptive technologies that are rapidly transforming the way-of-life all around us, blockchain could be the least elucidated and most anticipated upon. Industry speculators and influencers have on numerous occasions in the past, promulgated the transformative potential, as well as the revolutionary capabilities inherent a blockchain, enabled provisioning ecosystem. The core advantage from blockchain is that it creates a digital space for trusted transactions without any intermediaries, and this has never been possible before.
Historically speaking, a necessary precondition for technological innovations to achieve commercial success is the number of participants on them. The internet technology and before that semiconductors and much before that the telephone, they all went through these phases of uncertainty in their respective timespans.
Why Blockchain Technology
The basic advantages of blockchain based platforms are summed up below. Basically, its the ability to create extensively customized solutions, cryptographic electronic records, the consumer-centric applications, and features such as interoperability as well as smart contracts –
- It has the superior security of a near un-crack-able crypto-code. As an industry estimate, it is around twenty times more difficult to hack into a blockchain enabled ecosystems
- It is decentralised – meaning there’s no big brother, no dedicated central entity controlling you have to trust for an entry to be considered valid
- It is customisable enough to be built around different applications
- Sharing is extremely easy, thus giving a fillip to interoperability and timely decision-making
- Layered permissions keep the control vested with the developer
Incorporating the advantageous elements of disruptive blockchain technology, a robust platform is being devised for the administration and provisioning of care for senior citizens welfare. A technological startup from Australia is in the process of transforming a technically sound concept into an overarching, customizable, and feature-rich blockchain enabled ecosystem. The large-scale adoption of this powerful ecosystem is expected to furnish tangible benefits to the senior care industry.
Contemporary senior care: malpractices and shortcomings
The existing scenario of old-age homes is that they are severely unregulated, with little or no written records of accounts, registration of occupant data, caretaker data and information detailing third-party vendors and handymen who feature in the establishment and maintenance of the senior home.
The few senior homes which do maintain records have them in books and files which are never entered as computer records, thereby making the process of collating, validating, and referencing such data extremely time-consuming. No record of transactions between administration, occupants, and vendors is maintained, which can often lead to exploitation of one party or another.
Accommodation is not built to cater to the growing size of the senior population, nor is it built in line with the safety standards recommended for seniors – ramps, walkways, and railings to be handy to those who need to walk with support.
Salient Features: Blockchain Senior-care ecosystem
The three toughest obstacles for improving senior care are interoperability, security, and payment. New ventures are looking to apply blockchain technology for resolving the senior care crisis, including efforts to centralize research data, track public health, monitor and fulfil prescriptions, lower administrative overheads, and organize patient data from an increasing number of inputs. The following features constitute a senior care blockchain enabled administrative and provisioning ecosystem.
- Blockchain ensures the utmost of authenticity. It allows for records to created and appended only to their previous block, and that too only after thorough approval from a notified authority. The platform ensures immutability and an audit log to every kind of transaction performed by any of the participants. Each transaction and unit of data can only be viewed only by those who have specific permissions. Users/assigned authorities can keep track of each and every transaction, or audit performed on their records
- Blockchain-enabled ecosystem allows for thorough profiling of all participants, which is a prerequisite prior to contracting in healthcare. Each occupant of the GladAge home is registered with an electronic wallet, which stores their unique identification information, financial records such as pension plans and insurance, lease/rent records, and medical records. They can be tracked digitally and accessed via blockchain for any transaction that the individual needs to carry out.
- The construction of senior care homes is to be done only after performing a rigorous analysis of the inhabitants’ requirements and preferences. All areas would be wheelchair-accessible with wide doorways. Slip-proof flooring and surfaces, with the provision of handles and bars as well as safety strips
As per the Hype Cycle from tech firm Gartner (a graphical method for studying the maturity, adoption and application of specific technologies), the business perceptions surrounding blockchain technology are at their peak of ‘inflated expectations.’ And actual real-world success is what is needed for shattering that trough of disillusionment, the phase of blockchain cycle which is hampering the flow of investments in numerous cases.
Having said that, the almost endless list of blockchain use cases and viability from proofs-of-concept, it really is a matter of time before we hear of the large-scale migration to blockchain applications, transforming the way certain things were done with a profound impact and wide-ranging consequences. And it shall certainly accomplish many of the anticipatory feats in future that are seemingly impossible today, once there are multiple (sufficient and necessary) participants on it.
About the Author : This article has been contributed by Mr. Sunny Kapoor, CEO at GladAge.