How Blockchain Technology has the Potential to be the Future for VA

Written by
Nitin Jain
Published on
February 12, 2024

Blockchain is one of the major tech booms of the past decade that carries the unique capacity to revolutionize entire industries. Blockchain technology can be quite complex, but in short it is a technology that enables the secure sharing of information. Data is stored within a database, while transactions are documented in a ledger, functioning as an account book. Blockchain serves as a collective, unchanging ledger streamlining transaction recording and asset monitoring across a business network.

Blockchain technology has the unique potential to provide the security required in patient privacy while enabling patient data sharing. This alone enables us to see the great benefit blockchain technology could provide for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Keep in mind, the VA is the nation's largest health care system, employing more than 371,000 health care professionals and support staff at 1,321 health care facilities across the United States, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites, all of which provide care of varying complexity.  

VA is entrusted with a lot of data requiring patient privacy, while at the same time, facilitating efficient and effective patient data sharing amongst its many VA clinics and Medical Centers.  

While this technology has broader applications, it can be particularly beneficial for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in the following ways:

Security and Privacy: Blockchain ensures the security and privacy of sensitive information such as identity, financial information etc., which is vital for Veterans. It uses cryptographic techniques to protect data, reducing the risk of identity theft and unauthorized access to medical and personal records.

Healthcare Records: Veterans often require ongoing medical care outside the VHA, and blockchain can securely store and share their medical records across various healthcare providers between VA and community providers keeping audit track of changes in the healthcare record. This enables real-time access to shared data on a secure and tamper-proof ledger, thus eliminating the need to repeatedly provide the same information and ensuring seamless and accurate treatment.

Streamlined Benefits: Veterans receive various non-healthcare benefits, including pensions, disability compensation, and education assistance. By providing a transparent and immutable ledger of transactions, Blockchain can streamline the disbursement process, reducing paperwork and bureaucracy, removing the risk of tampering or manipulation of data and ensuring Veterans receive their benefits promptly.

Credential Verification: Veterans can have their military service and training credentials stored on a blockchain on a distributed ledger. This makes it easier for them to verify their qualifications to potential employers, educational institutions, or government agencies.

Supply Chain Management: Veterans who transition to civilian careers in logistics or supply chain management can benefit from blockchain's transparency and traceability. It can help them ensure the authenticity and integrity of products and goods throughout the supply chain.

However, is blockchain technology the future for VA? Through VA’s Accelerating VA Innovation and Learning (AVAIL) IDIQ contract vehicle, they have access to innovative vendors that can provide the design, development, testing, and/or evaluation of blockchain solutions spanning several focus areas such as (1) secure data sharing across institutions; (2) supply chain optimization; (3) quality management and product tracking; and (4) optimization of clinically required administrative task such and provider credentialing and privileging.

We at InnoVet Health are bullish about the potential use of blockchain technology and offer capabilities to implement potential blockchain solutions that can greatly benefit Veterans by enhancing security, streamlining data sharing and benefits accessibility, and ensuring data transparency - all of which contribute to a better quality of life for Veterans.

About Us:   

InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in AI/ML and business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn. 

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