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March 1, 2019updated 11 Jul 2022 9:55am

Pharma giant partners with IBM to bring blockchain to clinical trials

Boehringer Ingelheim is to partner with IBM Canada to introduce blockchain technology in clinical trials.

By GlobalData Technology

Record-keeping during clinical trials is notoriously difficult and records are often erroneous or incomplete, which may put patient safety at risk and ultimately skew trial results.

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A collaboration between German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM Canada intends to combat this with the use of blockchain technology in clinical trials.

Blockchain 2019: clinical trial pilot collaboration

The two companies are expected to begin the collaboration with a pilot project that will evaluate the use of blockchain in parallel with more traditional study methods, in a trial that is set to begin in the coming weeks and wrap-up before the end of the year.

The healthcare market is increasingly looking to blockchain technology, which refers to a distributed system of recording and storing transaction records in a digital ledger.

The data is shared via a peer-to-peer network, limited to a set number of stakeholders, with each record secure from being tampered with by anyone else within the group.

Clinical trials often involve multiple centres with different institutional review boards and sources of trial data. As such, it can be difficult to manage data and consent to provide a clear record that all parties can access and understand.

Blockchain can improve this by having a single source to record, monitor and manage all data records.

Many trials also face problems when it comes to patient recruitment, and if blockchain could enable prospective patients to securely store their medical data anonymously, trial recruiters could contact qualifying patients directly.

These potential advancements could significantly accelerate clinical trials and data management, contributing to cuts in the timeline and cost of drug production.

Therefore, GlobalData expects this to be the start of a growing trend in pharma, with more deals and innovation based on blockchain in the future.

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As the industry strengthens its focus on patient centricity, Direct-to-Patient clinical trials have emerged as a popular trial design that have the potential to increase patient recruitment and retention. IRT plays a crucial role in the success of a Direct-to-Patient trial. Because drug supplies are being managed and shipped from distribution facilities directly to patients’ homes, a sponsor must have a high-quality system in place to accurately track the chain of custody, ensure patient-blinding and handle other logistical challenges. What You Will Learn Benefits and challenges associated with the Direct-to-Patient model Bellerophon's top considerations when implementing this trial design How IRT can equip study teams to successfully track chain of custody, ensure patient blinding, and handle logistical challenges
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Enter your details here to receive your free Case Study.

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