"We must ensure that the life science industry has access to the right skills and staff to bring their blockchain projects to fruition, particularly looking to the technology industry to fill the blockchain talent gap. This knowledge will be particularly useful for the 18 percent of life science professionals who admitted to knowing nothing about blockchain. The potential to enhance collaboration and, therefore, innovation is huge,"commented Dr Steve Arlington, President of The Pistoia Alliance. "Blockchain provides an additional layer of trust for scientists and their organisations. We hope the security benefits of the technology help to lessen reticence over sharing and transferring data or information, and will facilitate further cross-industry collaboration and knowledge sharing. We believe blockchain will open up new opportunities for the industry to begin sharing data more securely to advance drug discovery, ultimately making patients' lives better."
The survey also showed life science and pharmaceutical professionals are becoming more aware of the capabilities of blockchain. Respondents believed the greatest opportunities for using blockchain lie in the medical supply chain (30 percent), electronic medical records (25 percent), clinical trials management (20 percent), and scientific data sharing (15 percent). Of the benefits of blockchain, life science and pharmaceutical professionals believe the most significant is the immutability of data (73 percent). Significantly, for an industry with tight regulations, 39 percent also believe the transparency of the blockchain system is its best feature. However, almost one fifth (18 percent) of professionals believe using blockchain adds no value beyond a traditional database, showing there is some reluctance in the industry to use the technology. The Pistoia Alliance believes that some of the misconceptions about blockchain can be overcome with greater education of those in industry.
"As life science and pharmaceutical organisations are beginning to look at implementing or experimenting with blockchain, The Pistoia Alliance is working hard to inform organisations on how to implement it safely and effectively," commented Dr Richard Shute, consultant for The Pistoia Alliance. "We are currently focusing on educating scientists and researchers about the potential uses of blockchain technologies outside of the supply chain, particularly in R&D. At The Pistoia Alliance, we want to support our members' initiatives in blockchain, as well as provide a secure global forum for partnerships and collaboration. I would encourage anyone in the life science industry with an interest to join our Blockchain Bootcamp in October, and Alliance members to get involved in our blockchain community, to share knowledge and best practice."