Mount Sinai Hospital’s Icahn School of Medicine, in partnership with the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare, announced the creation of the Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research on July 24, which will be exploring into blockchain technology for possible solutions to healthcare and medical science.
Blockchain To Complement Machine Intelligence
The newly-minted center will have Joel Dudley as its chief, who currently serves as the Executive Vice President for Precision Health at Mount Sinai as well. Dudley has long been a leader in research on machine intelligence for solving problems in biology, and with the access given to him at the center, he can use complementary technologies like blockchain to develop predictive health applications from electronic health records (EHRs) and other digital health information.
The team is looking into applying blockchain technology in drug development and in clinical research trials, which in turn can provide a more improved quality control in reducing counterfeit drugs and enhancing research reproducibility.
“This experience will allow us to address many of the most promising uses for blockchain in biomedicine with the goal of improving healthcare delivery and reducing costs. Many companies are already exploring the use of blockchain technologies in biology and healthcare.”
Furthermore, he intends to use blockchain technology in crafting solutions for those areas where presently-existing systems and approaches fall short.
At roughly the same time, Chinese investors are becoming interested in a software company which claims to partner with Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial in creating a vaccine blockchain project for vaccine traceability and prescription outflow.
This is in light of the recent vaccine scandal earlier this month, wherein the country’s State Drug Administration (SDA) called out Changsheng Biotechnology for falsifying the production data for its human rabies vaccine, claiming that it had “fabricated production records and product inspection records,” not to mention tampering with process parameters and equipment during the production of the said vaccine.
Changsheng admitted to the allegations, vowing to cooperate with the authorities in conducting an internal investigation.
Li Xiaolai, a prominent crypto and blockchain investor, proposed the creation of a blockchain system which can provide what the country’s healthcare system needs due to its immutable properties.
As of the moment, there are not enough blockchain explorations intended for healthcare upgrades compared to the other sectors. However, these developments in the US and in China prove that bit by bit, the healthcare system is planning to catch up, even though it has many more leagues to cover.