Blockchain Technology in Healthcare - Concepts, Methodologies, and Applications

Utilizing Blockchain Technology to Improve Clinical Trials

Author(s): Sakthi Kumaresh*, Neha Sharma and Krishna Balu Priya Iyer

Pp: 1-33 (33)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165197123010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The development of new drugs by pharmaceutical companies becomes a challenging task as it takes longer timelines, and the clinical trial process involved before the introduction of any new drug is risky and highly unpredictable. The patient data available for the clinical trial process is distributed across several databases, and the data are stored in different formats; hence it becomes difficult to perform clinical trials. Many stakeholders (pharmaceutical companies, research labs, patients, participants, government authorities, and many more) across geography are involved in the clinical trial process. Cooperation among these stakeholders is necessary to conduct a clinical trial. A Clinical trial is a complex and time-consuming procedure that faces a constant challenge of data management, data sharing, and data security, resulting in being an expensive affair. Blockchain technology can be used to augment the entire workflow of clinical trials and overcome the mentioned challenges. It uses consensus protocol for efficient transmission and communication of data between nodes. Patient recruitment for clinical trials can be easily managed through “Smart contracts”. Any computational problem related to patient recruitment for a clinical trial, checking the validity of clinical trials, can be coded with smart contracts. This paper describes the utilization of blockchain to collect and store patient data and analysis results in a distributed yet secured manner, which can be shared in a transparent way and remain immutable as well as allows to tackle the challenges involved in the clinical trial process.

Keywords: Blockchain, Clinical trial, Consensus protocol, Smart contracts, Stakeholders.

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