Is Blockchain Technology Essential for Improving Clinical Research Quality?
Why Blockchain Technology Is Essential for Improving Clinical Research Quality
Clinical research is an integral part of the medical field. It is used to test new drugs and treatments and improve our understanding of human health and disease. However, the quality of clinical research can often be improved, edited, or tempered to suit specific outcomes. This has been done by companies and the pharma sector to get approval for drugs that later proved to be much inferior in quality and often outright dangerous. This is where blockchain technology comes in.
Blockchain technology is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. It can be used to store data about clinical research, such as the results of tests and trials and the medical record obtained or generated during the research period. This can help improve the quality and accuracy of clinical research and increase transparency and trust between researchers and participants. Interested in learning how Servblock can help? Schedule a call here
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is a secure, decentralized database that stores and tracks data as it is generated. It works like a digital contract where any data produced over time is preserved through a complex algorithm and can't be changed until all stakeholders agree.
This makes it an ideal solution for storing clinical research data, as it is secure and tamper-proof. Most people know blockchain by its more frequent use, such as in cryptocurrency. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
How Can Blockchain Technology Be Used in Clinical Research?
Since clinical studies are complex and have so many stakeholders, some investors own or support a specific drug molecule and have a limited time to get it approved. Then there are clinicians and actual patients. A successful clinical trial is consistently reproducible, and its findings can be validated by repeating the same protocol.
This means blockchain will be an essential and indispensable resource for recording chronologically accurate and real-time data. This ensures that the data produced will be accurate and represent the potential of the clinical drug rather than post-modified in most non-blockchain technology or conventional systems.
Finally, you can use blockchain technology to create a decentralized system for clinical research, allowing researchers worldwide to collaborate on projects and share data. This also means no one, including investors and pharma companies, will have the power or authority to control or change data due to their power or position.
What Are the Benefits of Using Blockchain Technology in Clinical Research?
By using blockchain technology in clinical research, you can reap several benefits.
Chronological data generation: since one of the essential things in a clinical trial is the time and the sequence of steps, and each step must generate specific results to be promoted to the next stage, blockchain will ensure that the data generated is chronologically accurate. It is not termed or falsified but represents the actual outcome. For example, if a drug needs a statistically significant result to pass but does not blockchain will ensure that it records the data correctly and, thus, not let it be manipulated later.
Ensuring step-wise validation of data: Blockchain can help speed up the research process. The immutable nature of the blockchain means that data can be verified quickly and easily without third-party verification.
Protection of participants' personal information:
Recently, Australia's largest healthcare provider disclosed that they had been hacked, resulting in a significant loss of confidential medical and clinical data affecting over a million individuals. The data was unsecured, and its subsequent discovery demonstrates the lack of a secure encrypted infrastructure. This has highlighted the significance of crypto networks and blockchain smart contracts in ensuring that each piece of data is processed independently and is not impacted by attacks.
Finally, blockchain can help reduce costs. The transparent and tamper-proof nature of the blockchain means that there is less need for oversight, which can reduce administrative costs.
Benchoufi, M., & Ravaud, P. (2017). Blockchain technology for improving clinical research quality. Trials, 18(1), 1-5.
Koufopoulou, M., Arregui, M., Lovelace, M., Arisa, O., & Abogunrin, S. (2018). PHP132-CAN BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF CLINICAL TRIAL EVIDENCE?–A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW. Value in Health, 21, S172.