5 Companies Looking To Bring Blockchain To Medical Supply Chain Management
With the use of blockchain, supply chain management could be decentralized, increasing the trust in the process every step along the way.
Blockchain and supply chain are seen by many as a match made in heaven. Major tech companies — such as IBM, SAP, Microsoft and Accenture — are already working on decentralized versions of their supply chain solutions, or are creating new ones from the ground up. Also, some of them are developing universal blockchain solutions that would be able to power a different kind of applications, supply chain management (SCM) included.
When it comes to healthcare, a comprehensive SCM solution may even be mandated by the government, which wants to know that medical supplies and drugs are properly produced and that their production abides to previously defined standards. To put it in other words, supply chain management in the medical setting requires dealing with factors such as regulatory compliance, product security, product damage and/or spoilage.
In current systems, the Supply Chain Management is centralized, with one big company — typically the one making an order — controlling the process from one or a few locations. With the use of blockchain, that process could be decentralized, increasing the trust in the process every step along the way. Simply put, once the information is saved on a ledger, it can't be (easily) changed.
That being said, things that could be improved with blockchain include:
- Traceability - a blockchain-based system lets parties easily trace the materials used, and see who did what in a supply chain.
- Contract Enforcement & Management - with a smart contract making sure every company included in a supply chain does its part; otherwise, it doesn't get paid.
- Damage & Mishandling Management - if there was a mistake/error with a product, a blockchain-based solution could help determine where the problem was caused.
- Oversight On Counterfeiting - which is very important in drug manufacturing, not only for pharmaceutical companies but also for patients.
- Supply Chain Auditing - makes life easier to auditing firms, with blockchain letting them explore the process from the inside out.
- Consumer Trust - if a product is made for end-users, a blockchain-based solution could let them learn the ins and outs of the item they are looking to buy.
In a nutshell, blockchain adds a lot to supply chain management, and unsurprisingly there are many companies looking to take advantage of the technology.
This article highlights the five companies that we think are among the most promising ones:
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Now that you have a part of the puzzle, why not go for the whole picture? Grab our "Blockchain in Healthcare" report where we discuss all the different uses cases for blockchain technology in great detail, while also highlighting companies that could make a dent in the market. Check it out.