19 October 2023

In the ever-evolving digital innovation landscape, blockchain technology stands as a beacon
of trust and transparency.

To comprehend its impact on healthcare data security, we must first understand the
fundamental principles underpinning this revolutionary technology.

What is Blockchain?

Unlike traditional centralised databases managed by a single authority, a blockchain network
operates on a peer-to-peer basis, where multiple nodes participate in validating and
recording transactions.

At its core, blockchain is a decentralised and distributed ledger system.

Each transaction forms a “block” containing encrypted data, linked to the previous block
through a cryptographic hash.

This chain of interconnected blocks creates an immutable and auditable record of all
transactions, making tampering virtually impossible.

Ensuring Data Integrity

Data security in healthcare is a matter of utmost significance. The robustness of blockchain
technology lies in its immutability.

Once data is recorded and validated, it becomes virtually impossible to alter or delete it,
guaranteeing the integrity of information.

For healthcare providers, this means that critical medical records, diagnostic images, and
patient data remain secure and unaltered throughout their lifecycle.

Healthcare professionals can trust the accuracy and authenticity of patient information,
enabling informed decision-making for optimal patient care.

Blockchain Role in Healthcare Data Security

In the modern day, healthcare finds itself in a position where it continues to embrace
technological advancements whilst also having to safeguard the integrity of sensitive patient

This is where blockchain’s role in data security is helping to reshape the landscape.
Blockchain’s fundamental strength lies in its ability to ensure immutable data integrity. In
healthcare, where the accuracy of patient information can be a matter of life and death, this
attribute is of extreme importance.

When medical records, diagnostic images, and treatment plans are stored on a blockchain,
they become part of an unalterable ledger.

Once information is entered and validated, it cannot be modified or tampered with, creating
an indelible and auditable record.

This guarantees that patient data remains accurate, secure, and resistant to unauthorised

Ensuring Compliance and Regulatory Considerations

Healthcare is a highly regulated field, governed by an intricate web of laws and standards
designed to protect patient rights and data privacy.

Blockchain’s attributes of transparency, immutability, and patient-centric data control
resonate harmoniously with these regulations.

Data Protection Act 2018

In the United Kingdom, the legal guidelines governing the proper handling and processing of
patient data encompass the Data Protection Act (DPA) of 2018, which adopted the
European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into national law, along with
the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality (CLDC).

Under data protection legislation, it is imperative that the acquisition and handling of personal data adhere to principles of fairness, lawfulness, and transparency.

There must always exist a valid and lawful foundation for both data collection and processing
as stipulated by data protection legislation, all while satisfying the requirements set forth by
the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality (CLDC).

GDPR and Patient Data Protection

In regions governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), patient data
protection is paramount.

Blockchain’s inherent design, where data cannot be altered without leaving a trace, aids
organisations in demonstrating compliance with GDPR’s accountability and data integrity

Patients exercise greater control over their data, aligning with GDPR’s emphasis on
individual rights.