Becoming attractive, looking younger, and acquiring confidence are just a few of the motivating factors that paved the way for 17.5 million cosmetic surgeries in the US in 2017. Breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and the tummy tuck were the top 5 elective surgeries in the beauty industry in 2017. America’s fascination for surgically enhanced beauty is growing. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, nearly 70 percent of consumers are considering cosmetic surgery.

The beauty industry and an aspirational population are creating a huge market. As a plastic surgeon, you have unique skill sets enabling you to deliver precisely what people are demanding.  What you require is a technology infusion. Are you aware that Blockchain is becoming the technology of choice for leading plastic surgeons the world over? Blockchain technological solutions are ushering change at such an alarming pace that the term “Beauty and the Blockchain” has acquired a new meaning.

What is Blockchain?

This is a relatively new technology that stores data in encrypted form within an accounting ledger that is shared between computer nodes. There’s no central server, and the ledger is accessible to all users in a globally computerized network. The technology is decentralized (it’s privately administered), transparent (transactions are verifiable), and anonymous (users enjoy privacy). The technology enables you to store vast amounts of data, execute smart contracts, and move money in cryptocurrency. Leading plastic surgeons have already started accepting Bitcoin cryptocurrency as payment.                          

Blockchain for Plastic Surgery: Data Security Through High-Level Encryption

Cases are legion where hackers have broken into celebrity plastic surgery clinics and decamped with millions of healthcare records. As data strategists at Tricension point out, data theft severely damages the reputation of the medical fraternity and compromises the confidentiality of patient information. Blockchain delivers a safe platform where vast amounts of data can be stored in encrypted form, safe from hacking. With blockchain, doctors are in full control of the sensitive data they handle.

The technology eliminates medical data error. Once data is recorded in the blockchain, it becomes unchangeable.  Caregivers share expertise and exchange information in privacy, it’ll drive down costs, and plastic surgeons will be able to study patients and customize surgeries with higher precision.

Blockchain for Plastic Surgery: Advanced Record Keeping With in-Depth Patient Profiles

Every packet of data that enters the blockchain is date-stamped, time-stamped, and coded with the user’s identity. A “block” contains a batch of transactions secured with cryptography. Each block is connected with the other in a sequential chain within an electronic ledger that all users can view and verify.

The blockchain architecture makes it possible for the surgeon to view the entire history of the patient from admission to surgery and post-operative care. Every step of the surgical process can be safely and permanently recorded and reviewed. This will remove shortcomings and improve clinical efficiencies that boost patient care.

Blockchain for Plastic Surgery: Common Communication Backbone for Caregivers

Because blockchain technology shares transaction records through a network of users, it eliminates communication bottlenecks. The primary care physician, administrative heads, specialists, and nurses can engage with each other on a unified platform. Communication becomes faster and occurs in real-time.

Blockchain for Plastic Surgery: Self-Executing Smart Contracts Automate Functions

One of the most useful features of Blockchain is the smart contract. Every administrative and surgical protocol can be coded as a smart contract. The blockchain creates an electronic health record (an EHR) that eliminates errors at the time of admission, billing, and processing of insurance claims. Once the basic conditions of a smart contract are fulfilled, payments are automated and instantaneous. Human intervention and errors are completely avoided.

The advantage of blockchain is that the patient and associated caregivers can use app-based technologies to scrutinize and verify each step of the patient’s journey from admission to discharge. Where additional consultation is required, a patient simply adds the specialist to the blockchain network and shares his MRI scans or other data. Patients can even sell their data for research purposes in exchange for cryptocurrencies.   

Blockchain for Plastic Surgery: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Improve Patient Outcomes

The wealth of data that blockchain stores can be used by AI to refine medical practices and suggest better options that improve surgical outcomes. The IBM Watson Health cognitive computing system uses these technologies to study patient histories and suggest medical interventions that help doctors move faster to ease patient distress. The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) studies the risks associated with a surgery, analyzes the patient history, and suggests risk-free medical options that are safest for the patient. These technology interventions can be leveraged by practicing plastic surgeons to improve their skills and the quality of patient care.   

Top Ten Blockchain Solutions that boost plastic surgery efficiencies

Improved Medical Practices

Surgeons can model surgeries, avoiding risk-prone operations to ensure successful patient outcomes.  

Easier Access to Doctors

Caregivers can share files and seek a second opinion from qualified specialists without compromising patient confidentiality.

Facilitates Faster Booking

Blockchain streamlines the admission protocol, making it easier on the patient besides reducing the administrative tedium of the clinic.

Patient is Aware and Informed

Patients can use blockchain enabled apps to access medical information and review each stage of medical care. Medical, legal, and insurance claims move faster.  

Patient Gets Single Point Access to Medical Records

Patients won’t have to visit the clinic or request doctors for data. As everything is accessible through the blockchain, personal healthcare records can be shared with other specialists.

Guarantees Transparent Feedback

The administrative protocol, that is time-stamped in blockchain, permits doctors and patients to exchange feedback instantaneously. When records are easily accessible, the patient can use the feedback to seek the opinion of any other medical specialist.

Blockchain Data Is a Permanent Record

Data, once entered in the system, can’t be tampered or modified by any user. This has enormous safety implications for caregivers and patients.

Security and Safety of Data Are Enhanced

The threat of hacking is nonexistent in a blockchain because advanced cryptographic protocols protect the data. Any alteration in data will not be accepted by the system because computer nodes sharing the distributed ledger will reject all changes.  

The Blockchain Is a Verifiable Record

The blockchain verifies and records the credentials of networked physicians, enabling patients to access medical advice faster from trusted sources.  

Speeds up Patient Grievance Redressal

The error-free database created by blockchain will reduce the scope for consumer disputes. US courts have already declared blockchain data as actionable electronic records.

Great Marketing Opportunity

For a practicing plastic surgeon, nothing could be better than an immutable, unchanging record of successful surgeries that blockchain faithfully records.

Conclusion

The blockchain is the world’s fastest growing technology. The blockchain based platform with its fail-proof inbuilt system of smart contracts is in the process of transforming the beauty and cosmetic surgery industry. It enables doctors to store sensitive patient information through encryption protocols. Peer to peer sharing of data becomes simpler. Transactions will be enabled in cryptocurrencies, moving funds across national boundaries with ease. Blockchain will eliminate intermediaries and cut costs. An ambitious and growing beauty entrepreneur couldn’t ask for more.