The Public's Views on Blockchain Application in Medical Data Sharing
Abstract: Trust is an integral part of any business to process transactions between a vendor and its consumers. In healthcare, patient data sharing is comparable to currency transactions in business. They contribute significantly to improve costs, access, quality of patient care and advances research in healthcare. However, due to a loss of public trust, patient data sharing across places is significantly lagging in the Healthcare. Without the ability to share patient data effectively across sites, the quality of patient care and advancements in medical research will be compromised. Blockchain, a reliable digital recording technology, has been recognized as a promising solution to build trust between healthcare systems and healthcare consumers. While researchers and vendors in healthcare are actively exploring its potential applications and technological feasibility, little is known about consumers’ views on its application in their medical information sharing. Objective: The study aimed to assess public trust/views and analyze the possible variables that are related to their trust/views on blockchain application in medical data sharing for healthcare and research purposes. Methods: In this quantitative study, we distributed our survey using the Qualtrics to multiple online channels and an in-person conference associated with university and healthcare institutions using snowball sampling method. We collected a total of 62 completed responses. Results: Respondents had generally positive views in blockchain application in medical data sharing in comparison with the traditional sharing model. There were positive correlations in their views of blockchain application between financial and medical data sharing. There was no significant correlation between their understanding of blockchain technology and their perceived usefulness of its application in medical data sharing. The only significant predictor of their perceived usefulness of its application in medical data sharing is their perceived security. Conclusion: Blockchain technology may be useful in building trust between the public and healthcare systems. The perception of blockchain-based data sharing model as trustworthy for healthcare and medical research is promising. This study filled in the gaps from previous studies and strengthened their conclusions. By enhancing perceived security by the public may increase healthcare stakeholders’ acceptance of its application in healthcare. Understanding of the public’s views regarding blockchain technology and, in particular, variation in views and factors that affect security and privacy in medical data sharing are prerequisites to the public acceptance and trust in healthcare.