Blockchain, the latest technology emergent has introduced the world to a digital invention which is a distributed network of data. The linked blocks of digital information provide an optimized way to handle big data and other operations related to data processing. As a solution to various clinical data challenges, Blockchain drives the medical industry. Making use of this general working principle of the blockchain, a biological and medical informatics Ph.D. student at UCSF, Daniel Wong came up with an advanced blockchain application, tailored for clinical trials.
The new system is a web-based application, which consolidates and stores all the critical information such as the timestamp of the trial, the sender and the receiver identity, the file containing the report of the patient and other significant data, related to a particular clinical trial in a single block and locks it with a cryptographic digital signature. With a well-designed centralized control called regulator, this prototype overrides the concept of distributed information access. The regulating authority is made aware of the data, fluctuations of specific predefined values, observations and events that happen in a trial for high-speed clinical assistance. The trial information can be updated, by adding the new data into a distinct block, without disturbing the previous data.
Wong’s system has been tested with real-time data as well that from ImmPort, an open repository for clinical trials. This blockchain prototype proves to be promising as it helps in minimizing risks. Although it doesn’t offer end-to-end data protection, the new system has reduced the complexities involved in the traditional methods to a great extent.
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With the technology of blockchain, clinical trials can be successfully carried out even in critical situations. Securing data communications, offering high-speed clinical assistance and promoting accuracy, the new blockchain model accelerates the progress of clinical research.