Blockchain could rid pharma supply chains of counterfeit, improperly stored, and expired drugs. And it could also seriously improve overall contemporary healthcare, and some companies are already moving towards it.
Counterfeit drugs are a global problem. The World Health Organization estimates
that in low- and middle-income countries, one in 10 medicines on the market is counterfeit or of poor quality. The use of such low-quality products can harm the mortality rate of the population.
Medicines go through a supply chain that involves multiple players – the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retailer. They are involved in the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of these products. It is also important that the regulatory agency has access to data about the system.
FCE Group built a blockchain that demonstrates supply chains
and checks documents, records, medications, and medical devices for originality. Blockchain-based systems can provide a record of the supply chain by tracking each level of the drug supply chain. In addition, private keys and smart contracts can help better support agreements between different parties and build trust in pharmaceutical suppliers.
Traditional mechanisms for sharing medical information are outdated and failing in today's healthcare infrastructure. In most cases, the patient must bring all previous medical records to the new hospital or undergo medical tests again. The administrative complexity and inability to coordinate care in U.S. healthcare cost an estimated $760 billion to $935 billion annually.
Aside from the obvious inconvenience, the lack of a patient history can lead to incorrect treatment. Another problem is the need for more comprehensive information about the patient and his or her medical history. Incomplete patient data may be stored in databases of different hospitals.
Several companies are helping to protect the transport of patient health data. These include Akiri, Medicalchain, BurstIQ, Coral Health, and ProCredEx.
The use of blockchain technology as a common technology standard could solve the interoperability problems in healthcare. Blockchain technology enables access control across public and private chains. In this way, blockchain systems protect medical records and improve data protection.
Blockchain could rid pharma supply chain of counterfeit, improperly stored and expired drugs
Traditional mechanisms for sharing medical information are outdated and need radical improvement
Blockchain-based cloud systems can facilitate secure data exchange in the healthcare industry
Blockchain can be used to create permanent records of medical research and clinical trials. This can reduce fraud and errors. In this way, blockchain technology can make the results of medical research and clinical trials reliable. Embleema, for example, is doing this by streamlining research and regulatory analytics and accelerating drug development using blockchain.
In health insurance, information is exchanged between different parties when processing insurance claims. This process is fraught with problems such as fraud, discrepancies in insurance verification, data corruption, and data security. Blockchain technology can solve these problems and provide greater trust between insurers and insureds by increasing transparency
Blockchain streamlines the process of collecting patient health data remotely using a variety of mobile devices and sensors. Blockchain also helps analyze data and is an efficient repository with the ability to provide access to multiple institutions that follow a patient.
IoT tools and the processing of data received from them combine well with blockchain. IoT infrastructure consists of many interconnected devices, and Blockchain significantly speeds up data exchange. In parallel, AI can analyze data and provide medical institutions with specific signals about a patient's health.
Blockchain is already being actively used in healthcare in everything from protecting patient data to managing the pharmaceutical supply chain. Right now, governments are most interested in promoting the technology: Private medical companies are more focused on building secure internal databases. However, the formation of industry standards and requirements can facilitate secure data exchange across the industry and improve healthcare, not just for individual companies, but for the industry as a whole.
MediaArticlesBlockchain-based systems can make healthcare transparent and secure