Learning from Healthcare
Healthcare is one area of Blockchain application that libraries can learn from. For example, it is currently under consideration as a means of helping stem the tide of counterfeit prescriptions. It would be more important than most applications, because counterfeit drugs are a 200 billion dollar market. They are often made with wrong ingredients.
Other sources point to issues in other arenas that Blockchain could help resolve, such as identity and data security.
As of August 2019, several insurance companies and at least one bank partnered in HUN (Health Utility Network) to look at Blockchain and cooperation between networks. The unfortunate title of the linked article: “Is there a Blockchain delay in healthcare?”
Why yes, now that you mention it, there is. Estonia’s health care system is already there. Prescriptions and other records are already 99% into the new system. Dubai is scheduled for a rollout in 2020. Estonia started working with Guardtime on the subject back in 2011. Meanwhile, back in the US, 5 ways Blockchain could improve healthcare appeared in Becker’s Hospital Review in February of this year.
Those who lag behind are never in a hurry. They are willing to putter around in a Model T while the rest of the world moves on to self driving cars. This lack of impetus can extend for decades, perhaps indefinitely. Trains in the US are slow and outdated, in contrast to bullet trains in the rest of the world. Few of us were alive when they debuted in Japan back in 1964.
For libraries, the lesson is that we have to move ahead now. It is not about catching up. It is about moving or staying in place. If we don’t move now, this discussion could become similar to discussions about transportation over time. We could end up mulling over possible solutions more than 50 years after their implementation in other arenas and locations.