The Canadian unit of American tech giant IBM has partnered with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to deploy blockchain in clinical recordkeeping, according to a press release published on Feb. 12.
The cooperation between the two companies aims to test whether the integration of blockchain technology with clinical recordkeeping provides the proper level of data integrity, transparency, and patient safety, in addition to reducing costs and automating processes.
Dr. Uli Broedl, Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) said, “The clinical trial ecosystem is highly complex as it involves different stakeholders, resulting in limited trust, transparency and process inefficiencies without true patient empowerment.” Within the collaboration, IBM will reportedly provide blockchain technologies to ensure trust and transparency around the trial process.
IBM has participated in several healthcare-related projects. In January, the tech company partnered with American insurance giant Aetna to create a blockchain network tailored to the healthcare industry. Estimated to serve over 39 million clients globally, the blockchain system will reportedly be designed to streamline insurance claims processing and payments, as well as manage directories.
Established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company that also focuses on the development of therapies. In 2017, the company’s net sales was reportedly around 18 billion euros ($20.4 billion). The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec.
Yesterday, blockchain tech company Bitfury announced a partnership with radiology blockchain marketplace Medical Diagnostic Web (MDW) to create a blockchain-based platform for maintaining, sharing and securing medical imaging and diagnostics information such as X-rays and CT scans.
Earlier in February, a medical R&D consortium, the Pistoia Alliance, expanded its blockchain project to include data sharing, data identity, and data integrity. The project will focus on the use of blockchain to validate sources in identifying data and improve sharing between organizations.