Investments in blockchain technology in healthcare industry are growing rapidly, reaching $200M, according to recent R3 consortium report.
The most important use-cases of blockchain in healthcare and big pharma
While still at the early stage of development, blockchain applications in healthcare present various opportunities, such as continuous tracking of patient health, new health insights, leaning toward value-based care.
PreScrypt, a proof-of-concept, developed by Deloitte Netherlands in collaboration with SNS Bank and Radboud3, gives patients a complete ownership of their medical records, allowing or revoking access to data by provider.
There are already several use-cases in pharma industry: blockchain can help to verify the authenticity of returned drugs and compliance in pharma supply chain. To this end, Merck in partnership with SAP has developed the SAP Pharma Blockchain POC app.
Blockchain protocols in clinical trials can provide transparency and traceability of consent.
Fighting counterfeit drugs with blockchain
Another groundbreaking use in pharma is the prevention of counterfeit drugs and medical devices. Novartis AG, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world based in Basel, Switzerland, has made a tremendous progress in the field.
They have been experimenting with blockchain since 2016, running various proofs of concept (PoCs).
Today, the primary tech development is aimed to identify counterfeit medicine and track temperature with real-time visibility for all participants in the supply chain, using Blockchain and IoT.
The initiative is led by Daniel Fritz, Novartis Supply Chain Domain Architect, and Marco Cuomo, Novartis Applied Technology Innovation Manager.
They are also working on a public-private partnership between the European pharmaceutical industry and EU – the IMI Blockchain Enabled Healthcare program. The program aims to partner the pharma industry with a consortia made up of SME blockchain companies, universities, clinical labs, hospitals, patient representatives and others. It’s a wide-ranging project that includes counterfeit drug detection, supply chain, patient data, and clinical trials.
What is holding other companies back from trying?
The current state of healthcare and pharma records is incoherent and irrational due to a lack of common architecture and standards that would allow a safe transfer of sensitive information among stakeholders in the system.
Blockchain’s ability to establish provenance and transparency of data makes it particularly suited for this industry.
Several issues can block organizations in their attempts: When should organizations launch blockchain pilots? How should they design use cases? When should they strengthen the system through smart contracts? Should they implement permissioned, permissionless, or consortium blockchains?
To answer these questions and talk about their experience in Novartis, Daniel Fritz and Marco Cuomo will be speaking at Blockchain Leadership Summit in Basel. Their keynote speech is highly anticipated by industry players, as it will shed light upon possible pitfalls of blockchain application and steps to be taken when launching a blockchain pilot.
InnMind, the first Swiss-made global business ecosystem for the innovative community, start-up founders, experts, investors, mentors and service providers who are focused on work with innovations, is the event organizer. Launched in 2016 in Switzerland, InnMind connects over 20.000 industry professionals from 70+ countries worldwide.