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Internet of Things and shared records: the technology that drives vaccines and drugs

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The blockchain walks side by side with the pharmaceutical industry, pushed by the health emergency to accelerate in the field of technological innovation. A blockchain-based vaccine production and distribution network can provide security, transparency and traceability at all stages. Especially around a delicate vaccine like that for Covid-19 which needs strict compliance with the cold chain. In the US, Moderna has teamed up with IBM in a pilot project to monitor individual batches in real time throughout the supply chain, from the production site to the destination. One way to ensure traceability and also strengthen the trust of end users, who have the certainty that every movement of the vial has been monitored. Even better if the blockchain technology is flanked by IoT systems, as experimented by Pfizer, whose vaccine requires storage at -80 ° C. Thanks to integrated sensors, the temperature at every stage of the journey is recorded moment by moment and, thanks to the blockchain, this data ends up in a register that provides a secure, real-time and unchangeable certification. The blockchain also guarantees protection from counterfeiting while maintaining, at the same time, a full registration of objective data without human interaction, so as to fully preserve all the characteristics of privacy. vaccinations. There are many solutions under study, but all of them are based on the blockchain, which makes it possible to provide certain and not counterfeit information, respecting privacy, with immutable, anonymous and transparent archives. A health passport that contains data on test results or vaccination could soon become the priority way to travel or access sporting, cultural and entertainment events. In the pharmaceutical field, more generally, the blockchain is preparing to become a fundamental support for research. Although still in its infancy, the most important applications concern the protection of data in a secure and inviolable way, a way that can be considered legally valid in case it has to be brought as evidence to court. anti Covid-19 vaccine, applications concerning the production and distribution of drugs, always integrated with IoT systems, in order to verify compliance with the storage chain, with instant tracking in space and time. Companies such as MediLedger offer blockchain solutions for verifying the origin of drugs already widely used in the United States. Solutions able to guarantee fundamental support also in healthcare, where they allow you to keep track of stocks, avoiding shortages and bottlenecks, locating expired or damaged drugs. PharmaLedger is instead a blockchain platform, supported by the Horizon 2020 program with a budget of over 20 million euros, which combines the supply chain, clinical trials and health data, with giants such as Bayer, Astrazeneca, Novartis and Pfizer inside. Not only that: an intelligent packaging will allow, when it will be in common use, the control of the authenticity of the single medicine and of any returns, as well as preventing frauds such as the re-placing on the market of expired drugs.

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