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Blockchain in Clinical Trials: Can it Improve Transparency? –



Blockchain in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are archaic and can be traced back to ancient times – 500 B.C. The reason for the conduct of clinical trials is the development of drugs, procedures, and devices to improve human health.

Since then, clinical trials have gone through many changes and updates on the standards that should be followed for ethics and how to carry out these trials.

Clinical trials face several challenges, including patient recruitment, trial complexity, costs, technology adoption, spiraling costs, and regulatory necessities.

Clinical trials are never easy – they are lengthy, complex, and require research centers to comply with rules and regulations of different standards.

Sometimes the quality of clinical research is undermined by severe misconduct, fraud, detrimental research practices, poor or selective reporting, lack of transparency, and errors.

To overcome these challenges, we need a technology that can offer a secure, transparent, and distributed datastore to increase the trustworthiness of clinical trials. That’s where Blockchain comes into play.

Workflow of Current Clinical Trials

But, can Blockchain improve trust in clinical trials? Let’s find out.

Blockchain: The Potential Game Changer

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer, decentralized, transparent, immutable, and distributed ledger that was initially applied in the financial industry.

The success of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (a popular blockchain application) shows the security, robustness, and consensus mechanism provided in the blockchain system.

Blockchain can ensure the provenance of data and public auditability.

The blockchain system runs on users’ consent instead of third-party management.

Every blockchain transaction is distributedly stored in the “block” or node after validation by the user. To protect the user’s privacy, Blockchain offers a unique key pair (public and private key) to each user for identity verification.

Every transaction in the blockchain system has to be digitally signed by the sender’s private key, and other users in the Blockchain will see the public key instead of real identities.

Besides, all the transactions in the Blockchain can be audited by the users publicly, which solves the problem of transparency in clinical trials.

With Blockchain, the clinical trials’ quality is improved for both researchers and patient groups, as it secures data sharing and provides tools to guarantee privacy, respectively.

One can also add smart contracts to the blockchain systems for the self-executing, coded protocol between sender and receiver to regulate all the transactions.

Implementing Blockchain in Clinical Trials

To implement Blockchain in clinical trials, one can use Ethereum blockchain, an open-source platform with smart contracts feature to overcome clinical trial problems like recruitment of patients and checking clinical trial validity.

The creator node or authority has to start the blockchain system using a unique genesis block file so that other adapters can join the system using I.P. addresses and blockchain identifiers. While implementing Blockchain, the master smart contract automatically matches the potential trial subjects.

Apart from the master smart contract, multiple trial smart contracts are also used for trial management, enrollment of patients, and persistent monitoring for different clinical trials.

Only authorized users can execute some functionalities in the Blockchain’s smart contract.

Without the privilege, a user cannot access the data stored in the contract. The authorized node can also trace inconsistencies in the record and discover the reason behind them.

Until now, patients had no control over their data. However, as we look at the below-mentioned diagram, you can see that it’s the idea of patient-centric generated data, where patients are the center of deciding how their data can be used.

This diagram gives a clear image of patients being in control of their data and experiencing better outputs than before.

Blockchain in Clinical Trials

In the world of clinical research, transparency and accuracy of the data are key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of trials. Hence Blockchain’s decentralized ledger has become the solution for these KPIs.

Blockchain Medical Solutions for Clinical Trials

As Blockchain is estimated to reach $3 billion in value by 2025 in the healthcare sector, clinical trials startups are trying to tune into the blockchain record-keeping system.

There are several ongoing projects in the market for clinical trials through Blockchain, but we will discuss a few of the most popular ones.

1. ClinTex

ClinTex goals are to offer data and blockchain services that have the pharmaceutical industry as a primary customer. The motivation behind ClinTex is to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials through technologies like machine learning, Blockchain, smart contracts, and predictive analysis.

Digital Trust and Safety on Fintech Platform

Currently, clinical trials cost around $600,000 to $8M per day while significantly delaying the delivery of new medicines. ClinTex aims to reduce the cost of medicine while improving the speed of delivering new medicines for patients in need by bringing down the development costs for the pharmaceutical sector.

2. Innoplexus

Innoplexus are whizzes at Life Science research and offer tools that combine Blockchain with artificial intelligence. In addition, Innoplexus, with its 250 team members, provides drug and clinical trials solutions.

Innoplexus has a multiple-stage process to make research designs for the clients. For example, the A.I. mechanism has been specially designed for medical sciences and biology. On the other hand, blockchains are designed for clients who rely on distributed yet private communication.

Moreover, being sensitive to data, the Blockchain assures secure communication between selected participants by following GDPR compliance.

3. Triall

Triall has brought Web 3.0 to medical research. They aim to streamline medical trials to deliver pharmaceuticals faster. Triall has created a microservices network based on blockchain technology to build connections between data sources and processes in a clinical trial.

Blockchain in Supply Chain: A Transparent Prospect for Products

Triall has created a digital ecosystem with Blockchain integrated solutions to streamline and secure clinical trials for therapeutics and vaccines. The use of blockchain infrastructure makes data from clinical trials tamper-resistant. Triall aims to ensure clinical trial data to improve quality, efficiency, compliance, and trust for all the involved parties.

4. BioPharma Ledger

The core aim of BioPharma Ledger (a blockchain platform) is to streamline the research management processes. BioPharma Ledger operates every essential element of life sciences, entailing FDA submissions, patient data privacy, clinical trial management between providers and patients.

BioPharma Ledger simulates Ethereum smart contract capabilities by providing private blockchain solutions. It is aimed at the international market of clinical trials with its partners Cinlogix – the clinical trials originators in Asia, Europe, South America, and the USA.

5. Embleema

Embleema is another service that helps healthcare providers build clinical trials from scratch, including patient recruitments and research designs. Emleema has built a Virtual Study Suite (it’s proprietary) to create designs in a traceable, intuitive manner.

Emleema runs HIVE, a US FDA-approved information system for genomic information and big data. Embleema is a platform that collects, analyzes, and manages clinical and real-world data with complete control from the user, from the recruitment of patients to regulatory submissions. In addition, Embleema is a project that uses private blockchain technology capabilities without allocating a public digital asset.

Future of Clinical Trials with Blockchain

Blockchain technology has different advantages in data protection and security. Blockchain also offers the ability to bridge contrasting study sites, CROs, and system manufacturers.

And, if Blockchain is deployed in the context of clinical trials, it will help in developing transparent and highly trustable trials, enhance recruitment of patients, enable complete decentralization, support regulatory compliances, and facilitate integration.

Blockchain is an innovative solution for secured decentralized trials that enable robust governance and real-time decision-making despite geographical distances.

The proposed system can improve data integrity and accountability for the data exchange process while lowering the costs of transactions. Hence, it is being used by different companies to build secured data and service management systems in smart healthcare.

And if you are the one in the healthcare industry who wants blockchain-based clinical trials development, then you should go ahead and hire a blockchain developer.

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Mahipal Nehra

Digital Marketing Expert

Working with Decipher Zone that is a Java Development Company. He always loves to write about technical insights, tools for data analysis, emerging technological trends, AI-based commuting services, robots, web applications, CRM, and digital transformation IT solutions.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

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Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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