ClinicalTrials.gov reveals that drug development costs around $350 billion globally per year
. Clinical trials produce large amounts of data and involve many people, such as sponsors, study subjects, doctors, researchers, drug manufacturers, etc. Hence, mistakes can occur easily and there is room for intentional falsification. Finding and recruiting participants is another issue. A recent report shows that only 8% of cancer patients
participated in clinical trials. Also, trails’ information is typically stored in centralized databases, making it challenging to share among all stakeholders.
Another blockchain use case in healthcare is to make clinical trials more transparent, allowing researchers to identify studies with questionable protocols and prevent their publication. With this technology, all clinical trial documents can be time stamped and securely stored. Blockchain records include project proposals, surveys, research design, blood tests, patient consent forms, etc. Moreover, this technology allows participants in dispersed geographical locations to view the data simultaneously in real time, which is crucial for trial decision making.
Additionally, blockchain can help manage clinical trials’ finances. For example, the German pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim teamed up with IBM to implement a blockchain-based bookkeeping system for its trials. Delayed payment of trials’ participants is another issue. It typically takes several months for those people to receive income. Bloqcube specializes in blockchain-powered clinical trial software and it believes that working with central bank digital currencies can significantly speed up the payment process, allowing doctors and patients to receive compensation a few minutes after performing a task.