Blockchain Could Help Improve Security, Transparency in Healthcare eCommerce

August 25, 2023 09:33:30

The past couple of years has seen major e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Walgreens and Walmart make inroads into the healthcare sector. Healthcare adopted e-commerce features in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to limit contact with the public and reduce the rate of infection.

Features such as virtual doctor appointments, examinations, medication purchases and home deliveries have become more commonplace over the past few years due to the convenience and expanded access they offer to customers.

Retail giant Amazon cemented its entry into the healthcare industry with its $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, a primary care provider with more than 200 brick-and-mortar medical offices in more than 20 markets and close to 815,000 official members.  Prior to Amazon’s 2023 acquisition, Walmart accelerated its expansion into healthcare in 2019 while Walgreens unveiled plans to build out its healthcare wing in 2022.

As healthcare e-commerce becomes increasingly entrenched in society, the segment can leverage decentralized blockchain technology to improve transparency and security. Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrencies such as Ether and Bitcoin by providing a decentralized and distributed digital ledger to record transactions and data exchanges.

The security features that made blockchain perfect for cryptocurrencies also lend themselves to the burgeoning healthcare e-commerce segment as healthcare requires transparent, tamper-proof and secure records.

Data security in healthcare is critical to protecting private patient information and remaining compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. Hackers often target healthcare businesses to steal confidential patient data, which can be used for fraud and identity theft or sold on the dark web.

Since e-commerce will likely increase the amount of patient information flowing into e-commerce, adopting technologies with airtight security features will be crucial to securing patient information. Thanks to its cryptographic nature, blockchain technology makes it virtually impossible to alter previously recorded data without leaving a trace. Furthermore, blockchain would also require encrypted keys to access information on medical histories, prescription details, and patient records, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized data access and breaches which can result in medical fraud and identity theft.

Blockchain technology can also help to prove the authenticity of products provided by virtual healthcare providers. Since the industry will deal with medications, supplements and medical devices, ensuring their validity will be critical to protecting customers and building consumer trust in virtual healthcare. Distributed ledgers will allow the documentation of every step of a medical product’s journey from manufacturing to retail sales, ensuring a much higher degree of control over product authenticity and quality.

With various enterprises such as NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL) (NASDAQ: NXPLW) getting involved in healthcare e-commerce, it may not be long before innovations including blockchain technology are integrated into the platforms offering healthcare products and services.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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