The Unusual Attribute of Being Able to Transcend Enterprises
Visual of PharmaLedger elaborated by EBC team
A story by
Marta G. Roqué
How and why was PharmaLedger created?
The PharmaLedger project kicked off in January 2020 and aims to enable healthcare innovations for supply chains, clinical trials and health data. The project was created to provide a trusted platform that supports the design and, adoption of blockchain enabled healthcare solutions while accelerating delivery of innovation that benefits the entire healthcare ecosystem.
How can decentralization and blockchain bring value to pharma and healthcare?
A fantastic example of how decentralisation and blockchain can bring value to the pharmaceutical industry is within the clinical trial sector. A decentralised clinical trial is where all or some activities are performed outside of a traditional investigative site (e.g. at a participant’s home or any other appropriate location), that may use digital technologies while maintaining standards of care, patient safety, high scientific rigour and quality.
Remote monitoring for clinical trial end-point events are now becoming digital in nature and the use of blockchain technology will ultimately provide a trust layer. This can ensure the data is recorded in a transparent and immutable way whilst maintaining integrity of the information and thus reducing the chances of human error and bias when interpreting results.
Have you worked on a business case that could not be possible without blockchain or DLT?
PharmaLedger’s aim is to have a laser focus entirely on delivering blockchain enabled solutions for the healthcare sector. We aim to build technology that has yet to be developed within the pharmaceutical industry. For this to be achieved we need to have an open and cross collaborative approach between all Consortium members, as this will enable each stakeholder to truly work together within one ecosystem.
We aim to build technology that has yet to be developed within the pharmaceutical industry.
What kind of new business models in healthcare do you see will arise from the use of Blockchain?
We believe that we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the use of blockchain technology within the medical and healthcare field. The most obvious use-case is within medication supply chains, however tools such as electronic consent, remote patient monitoring and electronic clinical outcome assessments will allow medical trial investigators to maintain links to patients without in-person visits. How this will form or develop in the future is another question entirely, as patients may take time to adopt to these novel ideologies and concepts.
During the pandemic, we are seeing that convenience is a huge factor given the limitation of travel and government enforced restrictions. However, the adoption uptake and use of digital technologies has increased in both physician and patient populations.
Some innovation managers say that Blockchain is still not mature. What would you reply to them?
To some extent I say I would have to agree with them in principle. Blockchain technology is nascent in nature and has been derived from the innate association with the cryptocurrency/digital cryptoasset ‘Bitcoin’, which believe or not, is only 12.5 years old!
However, with advances in any pioneering innovation, the fundamental principle of Moore’s Law can always be applied. Essentially this field is undergoing a hype cycle phase and exponential improvements are being developed at a rampant pace.
Blockchain technology has the unusual attribute of being able to transcend enterprises and there is a need for regulatory authorities to let developers experiment, build and test in jurisdictional sandbox environments.
One of the biggest challenges in any nascent ecosystem is always talent. Is European talent catching up with the pace of the blockchain industry?
110%! We’ve only just scratched the surface. The talent pool is ever expanding, and there is so much more room for growth and development. You only need to recall the previous two European Blockchain Convention conferences to witness the multiple influx of a diverse range of companies, industries and their relative C-Suite executives.
Blockchain technology has the unusual attribute of being able to transcend enterprises and there is a need for regulatory authorities to let developers experiment, build and test in jurisdictional sandbox environments. Regulation for the industry is a must as the technology will not be able to flourish and grow without it.
What’s your main goal for next year as a Consortium?
Our main goal next year as a Consortium is to build and develop the technology stack required for our chosen use cases. As with any new blockchain technology application, a continuous, reflective and agile mindset is required to deliver what we hope to be blockchain enabled healthcare solutions for the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare sector.
PharmaLedger is approximately halfway in terms of the project life cycle, however the sentiment amongst Consortium members is that this is just the beginning of a prosperous exciting future for blockchain technology.
Thank you for reading EBC news. If you have enjoyed this article, we would be happy if you forward it to your colleagues or share it on social media.
Published July 13 2021, Barcelona