Initially associated with digital currencies, “blockchain” has become a buzzword that is now also frequently heard outside of this context. Gartner Group considers the blockchain technology one of the top 10 relevant technologies in 2017 and a foundation for future business models.
But what exactly does the term blockchain mean and how can blockchain technology benefit your company?
What is a blockchain?
Originally, a blockchain is the innovative core component of the bitcoin digital currency, which guarantees secure money transfers without having to go through third parties such as banks.
A blockchain is a virtual chain of blocks that is used to store information. What makes it so unique is the fact that the various blocks within a chain are mutually dependent and that this rules out retroactive changes. Any modifications to a previous block would render the entire chain invalid. Because the individual blocks are connected through a chain, it is impossible to tamper with the data they contain. Before adding a new block, the accuracy of the data it contains along with its history needs to be verified before the block is included.
What are the benefits of a blockchain?
Blockchains may represent a highly complex technology, but they deliver tremendous benefits:
|A blockchain is a distributed database. Any data it contains is duplicated locally for each participant in the network. This creates a high level of decentralization that minimizes the risk of data loss and ensures high availability.
|Traceability and transparency
|The closed system that a blockchain provides self-guarantees the authenticity of all database transactions. This eliminates the need for an intermediary to verify it.
|Time and cost reductions
|Not needing a trusted intermediary or having to operate a centralized infrastructure means you can save a lot of time and money.
In short, blockchain technology is a quantum leap in terms of data privacy and security. To leverage all these advantages, Camelot has developed the “Hypertrust Platform”. This platform can be used to realize a variety of applications on top of public or private blockchains.
The following example illustrates how companies can use the Hypertrust Platform to their advantage:
Anti-Counterfeiting and Track & Trace
The prime example of blockchain use-cases: With a strong focus on the pharma industry, Camelot developed an anti-counterfeiting and track & trace solution based on the blockchain technology on top of the Hypertrust Network. Pushing identification and tracking information of medicals into a blockchain leads to a groundbreaking traceability experience throughout the supply chain for manufacturers, suppliers and customers.
Health Data Management fully controlled by patients
Today, health data management is not done by the patients but by different health organizations like physicians, hospitals or health insurance companies. The storage and distribution of this data is regulated by law but patients do not have any control about how and where it is used. This leads to distrust between the patients and the health data managing organizations, which effectively prevents the implementation of digitalized services that could serve huge values both to patients and organizations.
A secure blockchain based network could give back full control of the personal data to the patients. Trust could be built up by assuring full transparency about usage and storage of data within the network implemented in such a technology. Besides having the full control of their data, patients could even access and manage those using different devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.
The Camelot Hypertrust Network offers the technology platform to build respective digitalized applications connecting patients and health organizations.