Featured Article: Deloitte – Blockchain and the COVID-19 Imperative

Deloitte discusses blockchain benefits in the life sciences industry and features the PharmaLedger ePI (Electronic Product Information) use case.

Deloitte, one of the world’s most respected global consulting firms with a wide range of services, has published the article, “Blockchain and the COVID-19 imperative.” The article covers how blockchain is being applied in the life sciences sector while considering the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. Additionally, data integrity, accountability and traceability are highlighted as important features of the emerging technology because they help ensure trust among stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem. 

PharmaLedger is featured in the article as an industry collaboration project that applies blockchain to the healthcare industry. An example the article highlighted was our Electronic Product Information (ePI) use case. The article also presents key elements in blockchain consortium governance structures, as well as vital steps for ecosystem participants that are interested in the application of blockchain. 

COVID-19 and Blockchain Integration
The life sciences industry operates with objectives that support and add value to all those participating in its ecosystem. Among the most crucial objectives are transparency, quality, traceability and automation. Integration of blockchain technology to applications involving product life cycles has already begun with these goals in mind. COVID-19 has emphasised the need for blockchain’s benefits and as a result, spurred greater action and urgency regarding this process.

Deloitte’s article also highlights the importance of focus and collaboration for integrating this technology within the industry. Since each stakeholder requires unique solutions to specific challenges, use cases need to be examined and designed with a wide-lens approach. Ecosystem participants working together as a team can help accomplish this and help accelerate the industry-wide adoption of blockchain technology. A unified effort can help gain the trust of both skeptical stakeholders and government regulators alike.

PharmaLedger Use Case – Electronic Product Information (ePI)
Product information, such as ingredients, reporting adverse effects and dosage instructions, is a necessary component for patient safety. However, the current practice of producing paper leaflets has a few problems. Deloitte pointed out the following issues regarding this practice:

  • Readability of print 
  • Updates are not instant (as they are linked to production) 
  • Production costs 
  • Negative environmental impact 

To combat these problems, PharmaLedger has developed a use case for Electronic Product Information (or ePI). By leveraging blockchain technology to help the industry switch over from paper to digital leaflets (eLeaflets), many new features can be added. This not only provides benefits such as built-in anti-counterfeit checks, potential product recall messages and greater transparency regarding where products are coming from, but also enhances trust throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem. You can watch our ePI use case explainer video below, or find out more about this use case from our previous webinar.

[Read about our ePI Open Webinar – Making ePI a Reality: The User Journey] – button

Consortium Governance and Ecosystem Participation
Consortiums allow multiple entities to come together and bring collaboration to constantly evolving industries. Although collaboration is important for all industries, consortiums are only beneficial if governed correctly. Deloitte understands the importance of consortium governance structure and briefly mentions four of its key elements in their article:

  • Decision-making authority 
  • Funding and revenue-sharing 
  • Legal entity structures and risk
  • Identification and ownership of intellectual property

While the structure of governance is an important component of any partnership, the participation of each member within the ecosystem is just as vital. The article also emphasises standardising solutions, commitment to the road ahead, consortium education and use case assessment as some of the most critical actions for all involved in the ecosystem. 

Though the solutions required by the life sciences industry are often complex, they are well worth the time and effort. Our PharmaLedger project values the progress made and our goals ahead, which couldn’t have been achieved without our consortium partners.

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