Blockchain in Health Care: Hope or Hype?

J Med Internet Res. 2020 Jul 10;22(7):e17199. doi: 10.2196/17199.


There has been an increasing interest in blockchain technology from the health care sector in the last couple of years. The value proposition for using blockchain technology in the health care sector is to share sensitive patient data among health care entities securely and to empower patients. Blockchain technology allows patients to have an active role in developing and updating their own patient data. However, is blockchain technology really the silver bullet it seems to be? With this paper, we aim to understand the benefits and challenges of blockchain technology in the health care sector. We discuss innovation and security implications concerning blockchain technology in health care. Furthermore, we show that there is a need for more use cases to ensure the secure sharing of data within the health care sector. In our opinion, blockchain technology will not solve the issues encountered by the health care sector; in fact, it may raise more issues than it will solve.

Keywords: blockchain; health care; implications; innovation; security.

MeSH terms

  • Blockchain / standards*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Humans