While the world was lazily sobering up the year-end holidays, an infinitesimal microorganism, smaller than a cell, had decided to change it forever: the Coronavirus; but could the blockchain help in medical research?
The Covid-19 epidemic, which has taken on pandemic proportions like all seasonal flu, is having a very powerful impact from an economic-social point of view and could create the conditions for evolutionary/de-evolutionary forces that will accompany us throughout the decade.
In this scenario, apparently only sci-fi, technologies related to the blockchain can find the way to surface and establish themselves in different fields: one of these is that of scientific research, with particular reference to the medical sector.
The blockchain in the medical sector
Much has been written about the characteristics of the blockchain and its ability to safeguard patients’ clinical data, an approach used by projects such as Patientory, Medicalchain or Solve, the latter focusing also on the connections between diagnostic facilities and the insurance implications of medical care.
However, the blockchain can also help scientific progress and accelerate medical research without being linked to a tokenized ecosystem, but rather providing researchers with the tools and operational possibilities to address some very important challenges: reproducibility of results, data sharing, the privacy of information and patient enrolment in clinical trials.
The aim is to provide access to all the data collected, scientific articles, teaching materials and research methodologies, as well as the results achieved and peer reviews of scientific work.
The possibility of creating a higher level of trust by certifying these contents, guaranteeing their integrity and assigning them an incorruptible timestamp would guarantee even more complete effectiveness to the material produced and would be a real step forward in creating a more efficient and productive working environment.
The exit from the health emergency will make it possible to think coldly about the current shortcomings and new problems in the medical sector, planning more effective lines of development where the presence of the blockchain will be increasingly decisive.