A Systematic Review on the Adoption of Blockchain Technology in the Healthcare Industry
Keywords:Blockchain technology, Adoption, Healthcare, Systematic review
INTRODUCTION: Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger, decentralized, and cryptographically secure technology which has garnered considerable interest in different sectors including healthcare. It can enable better trust, security, management, and transparency of healthcare data, processes, and transactions resulting improving quality of care. Despite the fact of the increasing number of research investigating the applications/potentials of blockchain in healthcare, there is a scarcity of comprehensive reviews that focuses on the factors that influence its adoption in the healthcare industry.
OBJECTIVES: This review aims to summarise existing studies regarding the adoption of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. This review presents a detailed review of existing empirical studies investigating the factors influencing blockchain adoption in healthcare by highlighting the research methodologies, targeted stakeholders, adoption theories/models used, and the influential factors explored in each of these studies. Careful syntheses of these studies would enable researchers and partitioners to acquire a wide knowledge and understand various opportunities and challenges of blockchain implementation in healthcare.
METHODS: Inspired on “Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)” guidelines, the study's scope and research questions are established, Scopus database is selected as an information resource, search strategy, and inclusion and exclusion criteria for document selection is developed. This review was conducted in August 2022. From 223 articles found in the search, 12 met the eligibility criteria and were selected to be extensively analyzed in this review.
RESULTS: This review reveals that very few empirical studies exist that sought to explore the significant factors influencing blockchain adoption in healthcare. The qualitative method was the most method employed, healthcare providers were the most targeted stakeholders, and most of the studies were not based on adoption theories/models. Privacy, government regulation, and trust were the most influential factors investigated in the studies.
CONCLUSION: The utilization of blockchain can help handle many issues in healthcare systems and bring improved healthcare delivery. Little attention has been paid to highlight internal and external factors that would impact successful blockchain adoption in healthcare. Additionally, the evaluated research placed little attention on understanding how underlying factors interact, social structures and institutional mechanisms affect the adoption of blockchain in healthcare. The reasons why healthcare organizations are hesitant to implement blockchain are still not clear. There is a need to conduct more research to examine the factors influencing the decision of healthcare stakeholders to adopt blockchain by using adoption theories/models. The proposed framework of the factors in this study may contribute as a starting point for future blockchain adoption studies in the healthcare industry.
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