As announced on January 30, 2018, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) along with its own internal standards-setting body, the IEEE Standards Association, will host a one-day event highlighting the potential of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector.
The Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum will take place on February 12 at the Orlando Science Center in Florida and will bring together prominent healthcare industry stakeholders. According to the press release, attendees will include representatives from "the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), innovation leaders from the world's largest pharmaceutical organizations, and leading blockchain developers."
It is hoped that the interesting mix will foster deliberations on how current challenges can be addressed by software application development, as well as the progression of test studies being fielded in current use cases.
Vahan Simonyan, lead scientist at the FDA, adjunct professor at George Washington University, and polymath with a doctorate in quantum physics and mathematics, will be giving the forum's keynote entitled "An Integrated and Compliant Healthcare Ecosystem with Blockchain."
"Stakeholder interest in the initiative and the upcoming IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum is strong, and we encourage even broader participation and input from vested healthcare and regulatory partners in order to identify pertinent issues and more viable use cases that can help us advance industry-wide adoption," said Tim Mackey, co-chair of the IEEE-Standards Association Supply Chain/Clinical Trials Industry Connections Program. He went on to assert:
"IEEE is the ideal protagonist in convening technologists and clinical experts to evaluate and advance viable applications of blockchain for clinical trials use cases that will lead to enhanced patient safety and innovate the drug development life cycle."
Formed in 1963 via a comingling of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers, today the IEEE has representatives in over 160 countries and represents a diverse array of technical and professional societies.
Rounding out the list of speakers are medical doctors Mehdi Benchoufi, chief assistant in the department of clinical epidemiology at Hôtel-Dieu de Paris (the oldest hospital in Paris), and Philippe Ravaud, director of the Inserm Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Center. The duo recently co-authored paper called "Blockchain Technology for Improving Clinical Research Quality," which highlights the advantages of using blockchain technology to organize the complex flows of data which often circulate throughout the process of a particular clinical trial. The piece foreshadows the general themes that will be discussed at the forum.
ETHNews will be tracking this event and its potential impact on the healthcare industry.