News & Events: Press Releases

IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials EU Forum Brings Focus on Empowering Patients

Six European and international consortia, working groups and patient advocacies to share developments and perspectives on private and public blockchain pilots

PISCATAWAY, NJ, 23 Oct. 2018 – IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA), today announced details of the upcoming second edition of The IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum to be held 13-15 November 2018 at the Clinical Innovation Zone, University of Glasgow, Scotland. The Forum brings together group leaders from global and European consortia, working groups, and private pharmaceutical company pilots to provide updates on the progress of pilots and implementation of blockchain technology into clinical trials and the research process.

The expert speaking faculty includes group leaders from Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Blockchain Enabled Healthcare Topic Group, phUSE Blockchain for Healthcare working group, Embleema Global Health Consortium and other project leaders from multi-national pharmaceutical organizations escalating their initiative from evaluation, to piloting, to implementation. Collectively, these groups will speak to the advancements on proof of concepts, current pilots, and the status of projects being implemented that uniquely positions and empowers the patient at the center of a process where information is donated from the patient to initiate a trial and information is returned during the trial.

“Following our initial forum in February of this year, there’s been a growing consensus on the applicability of blockchain in the clinical trials space, explains Maria Palombini, director, Emerging Communities & Opportunities Development, IEEE SA. “We are now moving the conversation beyond determination of viable use case and bringing committed and passionate leaders together to present findings, lessons learned, and necessary steps to advance the technology’s adoption, and doing so with support from two different patient advocacy groups advocating blockchain as a means of patient empowerment.”

The IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum features three days of learning, ideation exchange, and collaboration on the technical and appropriate use cases for integrating cutting-edge technologies such as Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the clinical trials process. Participants will play an active role in helping establish a roadmap towards overcoming the technical, regulatory, and industry challenges to blockchain adoption.

Four viable use cases will be discussed, providing updates on progress while also exploring unresolved challenges where technical standards can help advance broader adoption of blockchain technology. The use cases have one theme in common — enabling patients to own, access, and manage their health information derived from all sources collecting it throughout the health ecosystem — and include:

  • Patient-centric identity for clinical trial patient recruitment
  • Tracking and tracing of the clinical trial supply chain
  • Clinical trial data integrity and provenance
  • Closing the disconnect between medical and clinical to advance clinical research
  • Clinical-grade IoT and wearables data validation and interoperability with the patient’s identity or other entities on the blockchain for the use of patient recruitment and clinical research

“As a patient advocate, I believe blockchain technology can restore digital trust and privacy and help to uncover opportunities that can lead to the development of new treatments for patients with rare diseases,” explains Jeanne Barnett, founder, “Advocating for patients to have the ability and the right to manage their health information is a great benefit for the many Cystic Fibrosis patients I represent, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with fellow patient advocacy groups and participants at the upcoming IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum.”

The IEEE Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum is an educational workshop. Participants will have access to expert-led sessions, engage in ideation, and collaborate in working groups towards building the “Roadmap to Blockchain for Clinical Trials Adoption.” Day one of the Forum will focus on challenges and opportunities around Wearables and Medical IoT Interoperability and Intelligence (WAMIII) in clinical trials/research use cases, while days two and three will focus on blockchain for clinical trials and research. Given the interactive nature of the Forum, seating is limited to passionate and committed industry professionals, advocates, policy makers and technologists who are seeking to advance and optimize drug development through patient empowerment and embracing innovation. For more information, please visit the IEEE Blockchain website


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About the IEEE Standards Association
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