Blockchain Technology Adoption Practices: Healthcare, E-Voting and Energy Sector

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Rise of processing powers of computers provides changes to new innovational concepts, blockchain is one of the innovational technology ideas. In 2008 it introduced to the world with alias Satoshi Nakamoto as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Today a great number of practices are adopting and developing blockchain-based systems. Healthcare, e-voting, and energy sectors are the leading way of adapting it to their interests. While striving to benefit blockchain’s features, they should be considering the socio-technical and economical perspective of people in their reach.

Introduction

Healthcare systems are well known to integrate newborn technologies into their complex processes. In blockchain’s case, it can help healthcare in various ways. The most important features are security and reliability, which are the healthcare system’s urgent requests.

One of the significant issues for governments is voting, it requires a tremendous amount of budget and assets planning. Blockchain technology can provide transparency and audibility with at most precision in this line of citizen-government interaction.

As another important sector is represented by energy-related firms, these firms focus are inclining upon renewable energy and other resources. The shift toward conventional energy production to alternative energy brings the transformation demand with it.

5 Potential Blockchain Use-cases that can save the environment | Data Driven Investor

Discussion

Although the main advantages & disadvantages are substantially alike in these research articles, there are considerably crucial details particular to each matter.

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Blockchain implementation in the energy sector requires an alteration in the socio-technical aspect. In the third article, Bernd mentions about German Electricity Feed Act which aims to pay for energy generated via renewable energy methods. This act kept intact until the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011. This incident seeded the renovation idea in the act and awareness started to grow among people. It led to political boundaries and the energy market took a big hit and become one of the reasons why the energy market is transforming.

The transformation started where it is well known for personnel who has experience in the area, power grids. Three stages of development anticipated here;

  1. Started with a global super grid that consists of large producers and massive scale energy transportation,
  2. Secondly, decentralized and local production and distribution system,
  3. Lastly, decentralized and locally & regionally connected smart grid where energy production can be leveled down to the individuals (called prosumer, they can produce, share and use energy) and shared via innovative platforms.

When electric grids become smart grids and keep pace with the perception of people in socio-economical and organizational-political ways, they can shape their prosumer communities. These communities described as “decentralized autonomous organizations” in the article can make contributions when it comes to store and carry out energy to places in demand.

On the other hand, healthcare is in need of reliable technology that can be accessed easily around the globe, store data and not be altered. That data could be about tracking the lifecycle of medical products and most importantly patient’s data.

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Healthcare experts strived to blend various technologies and created systems that started with Healthcare 2.0 (1991–2005). Although these systems created diverse bases for next generations such as standards developed for ensuring security (HIPAA, COBIT, DISHA), they can not keep up with the speed of technological development boom. In Healthcare 3.0, wearable, implantable and products that can track patients in realtime are introduced to the world. User interfaces and experiences become simpler and customizations in applications get more people’s attention. In the light of these developments, Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs) come into view and stressed the requirement for a suggested system more than ever.

In healthcare 4.0 (2016-Present), with surfacing other newborn technologies such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. sectors focus gathered into collaboration, coherence, and convergence. This focus directed as, enhance virtualization, enabling personalization in real-time which can be provided with help of blockchain structure.

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Lastly, e-voting has an enormous audience around the world commenced with governments. Estonia and South Korea developed such systems and in elections, their citizens can vote in online platforms. The social aspect of the process is extremely fragile, e-voting platforms must provide a high level of trust to citizens in transparency and verifiability. In the article, Michał proposed a system that has a complex structure of hardware-software symbiosis which consists of super-node, trusted node and polling stations which simulates the conventional voting process. This proposed method keeps the foundation of trust by reducing change of malfunction for today, in the future, it’s possible that the transition stage for fully decentralized e-voting platforms starts here.

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Conclusion

Other than military industry, healthcare, e-voting, and energy sectors are the flagships of integrating blockchain technology into their practice. These three sectors are trying to benefit the most enhanced features of the technology which are transparency, reliability, and decentralization. These characteristics are key to ensuring public trust and acquiring more recognition in the private sector.

E-voting practice is a delicate structure not technically but in the cultural aspect. Citizen’s trust can be laborious to earn and easy to lose, with a simple rumor. Here, a fully transparent and decentralized system is in need to integrate into the culture, that’s how it can succeed by using a full feature set of blockchain. That’s why this practice requires more time than other applications.

Energy sector firms have their dilemma, should they invest in such a software model with a great impact and lower their energy generation or should they resist the practices and boost their necessity and hope that they can avoid and transformation in the sector? Firms can postpone the inevitable transformation by resisting the change of players. But if they see the innovational value and invest in it, they can remain longer in the sector than expected.

Lastly, healthcare practices have uninterrupted advances than other lines of work. It is proven that starting with 1970s Healthcare 1.0 to today’s Healthcare 4.0, this sector never stopped innovating. Demands in this sector are higher than other ones discussed and keeps growing with parallel to the human population. That’s why blockchain integration in healthcare systems would be easy to get investors and developers.

References

  • Article 1 : Sudeep Tanwar, Karan Parekh, Richard Evans, “Blockchain-based electronic healthcare record system for healthcare 4.0 applications”,Journal of Information Security and Applications, Volume 50, 2020, Pages 102–407.
  • Article 2 : Michał Pawlak, Aneta Poniszewska-Marańda, Natalia Kryvinska, “Towards the intelligent agents for blockchain e-voting system”, Procedia Computer Science, Volume 141, 2018, Pages 239–246.
  • Article 3 : Bernd Teufel, Anton Sentic, Mathias Barmet, “Blockchain energy: Blockchain in future energy systems”, Journal of Electronic Science and Technology, 2020, Pages 100–011.

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