This year as part of TxMQ’s Disruptive Technology Group, we had the chance to attend the MedTech 2018 conference. If you’re not familiar, MedTech is an innovative coalition of pharmaceutical, medical technology, life science companies, research and academic institutions, suppliers and service providers in New York State.

MedTech has a very important mission, to connect member companies, entrepreneurs and academics to support and grow the regions life sciences economy. Throughout the event, there was a very entrepreneurial spirit which made it a prime place to discuss the potential of Blockchain and other DLTs within the medical industry.

Chuck Fried, President, and CEO of TxMQ was invited to present to the MedTech community on Distributed Ledger Technologies and how the technology can be used to improve existing processes within the medical industry. As it turns out the highly regulated medical industry is very challenging to innovate within, but Distributed Ledger Technologies like Blockchain are poised to change the way it currently operates.

At TxMQ we have helped hundreds of clients in the industry integrate and create innovative solutions to existing problems but this was our first time we had the opportunity to attend the conference and discuss some of the challenges they face in a more open discussion. Security and accessibility are just some of the main advantages of DLT and when thinking of the possibilities in relation to the medical and life sciences industries hopefully there are some big changes on the horizon.

Here are a few of the compelling uses we touched on during our discussions:

Medical Device, Material, and Drug Traceability

When you hear about someone replacing or implementing Blockchain or DLT into their current technology you can almost always assume it has something to do with a supply chain use-case. We find that many of the current use cases we discuss with clients can be watered down to a supply chain use one way or another.

DLT is great for streamlining and securing many of the processes in supply chains. For the medical community, it’s the security, transparency, and immediate auditability that make it so appealing. At TxMQ DTG we took this one step further and have created a demo utilizing Hashgraph, to show how a DLT solution can improve tracking sensitive materials such as Opioids through the supply chain.

Knowledge, Research Sharing

Just like within the software development community, the medical community has organizations and professionals who feel very strongly about sharing information in ways that parallel some of the same sentiments within open-source software development.  

Numerous government regulations and protections like HIPAA can make innovation and sharing much more difficult as compared to software development. Adding a Dapp (Decentralized Application) utilizing DLT into the mix you can increase visibility and data sharing but still keep the valuable and sometimes very personal pieces hidden from those who don’t need to know.

Security of the Internet of Medical Things

The idea of devices communicating with you or other devices without human intervention has huge implications for improving the efficiency of manufacturing and simplifying our personal lives. Though your “connected” refrigerator may tell when you’re milk is about to spoil, most of us wouldn’t get much more out of that type of functionality.

However, in the medical industry, there are huge implications that can improve the quality of life and lower the potential for complications for many individuals struggling with a health condition. For example, think about a connected device that automatically administers insulin for a forgetful patent. The patient would no longer have to worry about checking blood sugar or injecting just the right amount of medicine, then automatically relay the information their doctor, so they can keep a closer eye on patients and ensure their well being. Not only can it improve a patents life, but make it easier for doctors to stay connected to these patients continually, allowing them to help even more people.

Currently, the technology has several roadblocks ahead, especially when you take into account a simple bad actor could mean life or death. Adding a DLT solution to secure the data, limit access and improve network stability seems like a great fit and very much needed before a critical IoMT device can be used.

See you next year MedTech!

In such a highly regulated industry it can be hard to make innovation happen. Adding Distributed Ledger Technology to a product or build can increase security, traceability, and auditability to improve upon existing processes and invent entirely new lines of business that were not possible before. At TxMQ we can’t wait to help our clients incorporate these advancements into their business improving on existing processes and hopefully the quality of life for all patients because we’ll all be one at some point in our lives.

If you’re interested in taking a closer look at some of our current demos or talk about possibly implementing DLT into your next build, reach out. With just a quick conversation we can help you start building sooner than you think, just ask about Aviator

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