PharmaLedger Featured Article: Blockchain4Innovation

PharmaLedger has been featured in an article by the Italian Blockchain4Innovation, under the NetworkDigital360 B2B newspaper.

NetworkDigital360 is the largest network in Italy of B2B newspapers and portals dedicated to the issues of Digital Transformation and Business Innovation. Under this lies Blockchain4Innovation, where Elisabetta Biasin (KU Leuven) wrote an article introducing the PharmaLedger project and its goals of using blockchain in the healthcare industry. The article titled Blockchain in Sanità: il progetto PharmaLedger (translated to English: Blockchain in Healthcare: The PharmaLedger project) introduces the objectives of the PharmaLedger project, the partners involved, and the three domains that umbrella the eight use cases. The article also highlights other blockchain projects in the industry, as well as healthcare’s current status and challenges of implementing this technology in Italy.

The article spotlighted all three domains, starting with PharmaLedger’s Supply Chain use cases. This domain aims at promoting the traceability of products, helping to fight against counterfeit medicines and reduce fraud, all while complying with regulations. These include the Clinical Supply Traceability, Finished Good Traceability, Electronic Product Information (ePI), Anti-Counterfeiting use cases. 

You can watch our first open webinar that highlights these four supply chain use cases below.

The next PharmaLedger domain area discussed is Clinical Trials, which is essential for research development. The article reads that the PharmaLedger project “aims to develop an end-to-end clinical trial solution, with the end-goal of transparency, verifiability, traceability [and] detailed access control on all aspects of the clinical trial processes…” These PharmaLedger use cases include eRecruitment and eConsent.

The final domain discussed is Health Data, which is essential for providing and discovering the right treatments, while testing safety and effectiveness in clinical trials and monitoring their use in the real world. However, there are challenges in the current health system to gain access to health data. PharmaLedger’s goal is to create an infrastructure for the safe, private exchange of health data in an interoperable way. The use cases under this domain include Personalised Medicine and IoT Medical Devices

The clinical trails and health data use cases were presented in our second open webinar, which you can rewatch below.

You can read the Italian article below and use a translator if needed to read it in its entirety.

PharmaLedger: Opening the Conversation

The article also underlined the current status of blockchain innovation in Italy, as well as the challenges of implementing this technology. These challenges include the sensitivity of data in the healthcare field, ethical and legal requirements, technical requirements, data being siloed throughout the healthcare processes, and the complexity of human relationships involved throughout these processes. It is important to highlight these challenges written in the article because PharmaLedger is working to address these as well as many others throughout its project. Blockchain technology has the potential to act as a ‘bridge’ in the digitisation of healthcare data, providing solutions against the fragmentation of healthcare data caused by the challenge of interoperability. 

There are, of course, many ethical, legal and regulatory challenges that need to be addressed using blockchain and throughout the project, and that’s why many actors need to be involved in its implementation. The partners involved in PharmaLedger are not only experts in the medical and technological field, but also ethical specialists, patient representatives and regulatory officials. This team-sport of our consortium helps overcome the risks involved, share the vast wealth of knowledge and helps solve problems more efficiently.

One of the most important things that the PharmaLedger consortium is doing is bringing tangible solutions through the eight use cases. The proof of the added value derived from this technology can then be shown to the public and political officials so that blockchain can move forward in the healthcare industry, all while maintaining ethical, legal standards. We are excited to see how our project and many other blockchain healthcare projects unfold to create a more trusted and transparent healthcare ecosystem!

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