The digital transformation of the medical industry has gained traction over the past decade. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are now being implemented, and blockchain tech is a natural fit for a fast-evolving industry of this sort. Blockchain tech is being leveraged to enhance trust, transparency, and privacy in data sharing within the medical industry.
The health care industry is plagued by a paper-based system that is slow, along with various operational inefficiencies. This often led to a poor experience for patients and creates various problems. According to an Economic Times report, industry experts call blockchain ‘the technology that can solve healthcare’s looming concerns’.
Among recent events, Transgene, a French biopharmaceutical company has started implementing blockchain supply chain traceability solution Hypertrust-X Chain for Clinical Trials. The company aims to use an immutable audit trail throughout the treatment process for its individualized therapeutic vaccine against ovarian, head, and neck cancer
In order to enhance the transparency of its clinical trials process, the company is leveraging the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT), by implementing Hypertrust Patient Data Care’s blockchain traceability product into its clinical trials project dubbed myvac.
The pharma company is using myvac to develop individualized immune therapy products by analyzing cells from individuals and using unique mutations specific to the patient, to develop a vaccine that helps the immune system to defend itself against cancer cells.
The highly complicated process requires the need for tamper-proof data throughout the supply chain as the involvement of multiple companies throughout the process further makes this a crucial requirement.
This is where blockchain comes in, by providing a decentralized source of data that has a high level of transparency and trust compared to the traditional system. The tech also helps protect confidential patient data from possible cyber-attacks.
Eric Quéméneur, Executive VP, Chief Scientific Officer, Transgene, commented on the new venture:
“Blockchain technologies are a perfect tool to ensure that the patient’s genetic data are protected while ensuring that all the interventions of our partners are both smooth and tracked.”
Hypertrust’s X-Chain platform safely stores all data gathered along the supply chain on a blockchain. Smart contracts are then used to share the required details with stakeholders, ensuring safety and traceability.
Blockchain implemented across the healthcare industry
While the technicality of blockchain has a steep learning curve, the potential is immense within the blockchain space. Blockchain has been actively used on several occasions to battle the COVID-19 crisis.
IBM has been actively deploying collaborating with various organizations and even governments all across the globe in efforts to battle the crisis with the implementation of its blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) based products.
Most recently, Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare group spanning 800 hospitals, joined the tech giants Rapid Supplier connect, a cloud-based application powered distributed ledger technology, to seamlessly get connected with businesses providing coronavirus relief supplies.
IBM is also working with the World Health Organization and Oracle to authenticate data related to the coronavirus. Dubbed MiPasa, the solution is deployed as a “COVID-19 information highway,” according to Jonathan Levi, CEO of Hacera, the company that built the platform.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government has started a pilot programme to develop a blockchain-powered registry to analyze, anonymize, and store data for clinical diabetes. The registry will be recorded on the FLETA blockchain platform, the developer’s blockchain network designed for the nation’s healthcare system.