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:
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
Funding Amount: $52.8K
Select investors: Startupbootcamp, TrueStart
Block Verify is working to improve supply chains with blockchain technology, offering transparency among partners which are able to audit and verify transactions. The company's solution enables tracking of items through supply chains and recording transfer of ownership and validating locations. For pharma companies, Block Verify can help track pharmaceuticals throughout the supply chain and to ensure the consumers receive an authentic product. The solution also works with luxury items, diamonds and electronics.
Headquarters: Paris, France
BlockPharma develops a solution for traceability of medicines all along the supply chain in order to fight counterfeiting. The company's solution is based on the blockchain technology, which is used to register every piece of information relative to a drug container. At each step of the supply chain, BlockPharma registers those transactions on the ledger. The use of blockchain permits to secure the information, while keeping it open to everyone and particularly, to the consumer who can check through an app that the drug is authentic.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Amount: $12M
Select investors: Colbeck Capital, Mandra Capital, Pantera Capital, Solon Mack Capital, Streamlined Ventures
Chronicled builds special purpose blockchain-based applications for supply chain and IoT clients. The company's technology can sync with several blockchain protocols and has applications ranging from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to package tracking. For specific products like pharmaceuticals, blood, and human organs — which often need to be kept at low temperatures — Chronicled has developed a portable sensor that tracks and stores temperature readings on a blockchain to ensure secure data transmission. Also, it has made a tamper-proof adhesive sticker called CryptoSeal to identify physical items. In May 2019 - Pfizer, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Premier Inc. have joined the MediLedger Project Contracting and Chargebacks working group.
Headquarters: Mannheim, Germany
German company CAMELOT developed Hypertrust X-Chain, a patient-centered blockchain solution for pharma and healthcare to ensure the highest level of security for the storage and sharing of patient data for autologous extracorporeal cell treatment. The system's closed-loop supply chain approach removes mistakes throughout the process: from collecting the cells, processing them, transporting them between the stakeholders, and returning the "right cells" to the "right patients." It also makes the relevant patient data available to the stakeholders authorized for the therapy process on the basis of the blockchain technology by means of a decentralized data storage. In addition, Hypertrust X-Chain enables the flexible integration of partner systems, real-time temperature, location and quality controls as well as secure guarantees of origin.
Headquarters: Nottingham, United Kingdom
MediConnect is developing a DLT solution for the pharmaceutical industry using blockchain technology. Specifically, the company's platform enables tracking and managing of prescription medication from manufacturer to end-users. As a result, the solution can: 1) help prevent the misuse of prescription medications; and 2) identify counterfeit drugs and prevent their distribution in the pharmaceutical supply chain. In 2020, MediConnect is planning to complete a pilot scheme, which includes up to 10 participants and integration with online pharmacy UK Meds' processes.
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.