In recent years, blockchain has garnered significant interest of researchers, as well as industry players, as it has proven to be a versatile tool for decentralized monetary transactions and data exchange in various industries, such as banking, cyber security, supply chain management, government and healthcare. Several stakeholders in healthcare have adopted blockchain for various operations, including maintenance of patient records, while ensuring privacy and security as the records are stored on a network, recruiting patients for trials and providing transparency and traceability in the supply chain. Additionally, it can effectively and potentially be used as a method to significantly improve the drug life cycle management. Gradually, blockchain in healthcare has disclosed unprecedented opportunities by unlocking significant advantages.
Players Offering Blockchain in Drug Discovery and Clinical Trials Market
Presently, over 50 companies are actively engaged in offering blockchain in healthcare domain such as drug discovery and clinical trials, worldwide. Around 56% of the blockchain technology platform providers offer public blockchain, also referred to as permissionless blockchain. This is followed by players offering private blockchain (44%). Private blockchain is also referred to as permissioned blockchain as only specific users have access to it and is generally used by the entity it belongs to. It is comparatively less preferred than public blockchain as public blockchain is more secure and less vulnerable to hacks.
Further, within clinical trial management, the key focus area of blockchain technology is patient data management (72%). This can be attributed to the fact that securing patient data and records will increase the efficiency of trials being conducted.
Multiple Partnerships are Suggestive of the Widespread Research in Blockchain in Healthcare
Several industry and non-industry players have inked multiple partnerships related to blockchain in healthcare sector from the year 2017-2022. This is indicative of the growing interest of stakeholders in this domain. It is worth highlighting that ~ 60% of the deals were inked to enable utilization and integration of proprietary blockchain platforms.
Further, majority of the deals in this domain were inked for clinical trials (35%) followed by those for pharmaceutical supply chain optimisation (24%).
Published Scientific Literature: Indicative of the Ongoing pace of Research in this Field
Over the years, there has been a gradual increase in the number of publications related to blockchain. This can be attributed to the extensive research being carried out to evaluate the benefits of blockchain technology. It is worth highlighting that the maximum number of articles (116) have been published in the year 2021. This number is expected to rise in 2022. In fact, till September 2022, 130 articles have already been published. In addition, most of the articles published in this domain are research articles (57%), followed by review articles (28%). This can be due to the extensive research being carried out to address the challenges associated with the use of novel blockchain technology.
Future Evolution of Blockchain in Drug Discovery and Clinical Trials Market
With the rising demand of novel technologies, for a more efficient, transparent and secure data storage and management system , the blockchain in healthcare market is anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of above 20% between 2023 and 2035.
The popularity of blockchain in healthcare has been growing invariably. Along with healthcare, blockchain has made a considerable impact in the financial sector. Despite the growing interest of stakeholders in blockchain technology, it is associated with several challenges, including scalability issues, lack of security and cyber-attacks. In order to deal with the aforementioned challenges, organizations have established transparency and privacy to conceal sensitive patient data while allowing access, only when required. One of the features of blockchain is that it lets organizations establish transparency and privacy, helping to conceal sensitive patient data while enabling access and sharing when necessary. In the future, blockchain technology may aid in the provision of personalized, authentic, and reliable clinical trial services by combining up-to-date and secure patient data with other emerging technologies. Considering the fact that blockchain technology is already employed in healthcare and various other industries, additional efforts and initiatives will allow the industries to leverage the full potential of blockchain in healthcare.