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Blockchain AI Solutions Ltd (trading as FarmaTrust) 81 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DD, UK is registered in England and Wales with company number 10774263

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Blockchain & IOT Connection

Written by Shahnawaz Aziz

In my last article, we discussed how FarmaTrust is discovering the relation between Blockchain and AI to solve challenges in Pharma and Healthcare. In this article, we will address some of the challenges in the pharma cold chain logistics.

By 2021 pharma cold-chain logistics is predicted to be a $16.6 billion industry, according to Pharmaceutical Commerce’s annual BioPharma Cold Chain Sourcebook

Cold-chain logistics is the transport of temperature-sensitive products along a supply chain through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods and the logistical planning to protect the integrity of these shipments. For companies that outsource logistics, their providers and carriers become a critical piece in a process with a high level of risk, given the cost of product development and the potential impact on patient outcomes. 

The demand for visibility across the supply chain, including location and temperature monitoring no matter where in the world the product is moving, is driving the technology market to develop solutions to track and deliver data in real time. As the pharmaceutical cold chain industry expands its reach, manufacturers, logistic providers, and carriers will need to continue to coordinate actions to address the ongoing challenges of cold chain logistics. Some of these include:

  • How to ensure an end-to-end cold chain visibility?

  • How to monitor environmental conditions through the delivery cycle?

  • What processes are in place to assure proper handling and storage once the product leaves a facility?

  • How to measure compliance?

IoT devices equipped with sensors can enable companies to monitor and manage cold chain logistics from suppliers to end users.

Blockchain allows participants to transfer digital asset information across the internet without the need for authentication. Such transfer is enabled by peer-to-peer transaction with no requirement for a  central authority. FarmaTrust’s solutions ensure an end-to-end visibility by building a chain of custody and providing data attestation ensuring proper handling.

Blockchain is well known for security and immutability of data. IoT devices such as a data logger for cold chain logistics generate gigabytes of data to ensure environmental conditions are maintained for expensive  cancer treatments. To guarantee that such data is not changed, or deleted cloud computing is not enough, hence creating a Blockchain is the answer. Due to its intrinsic properties of immutability Blockchain provides a full data audit trail, thus boosting the credibility of the organizations involved, increasing trustworthiness and transparency.

 

At present, most IoT service providers centralize data in the cloud. Such repositories can be found  in public or private clouds and thechances of losing data or getting corrupted are high. . 

Blockchain can help in the data management by giving a low-cost solution. By using blockchain technology, the data can be stored on millions of nodes and multiple copies will make the data resilient. Moreover, data will be time-stamped and chronologically maintained. Hence, data recovery is easy and more accurate.

Figure 1. FarmaTrust Data Processing Analytics

Figure 1 illustrates the management of FarmaTrust’s Data Processing Analytics. Centred around the data security and based on a sensor-neutral principle , we have developed an API gateway through which provisioning is facilitated. This  ensures the huge amount of data generated by IoT devices is identified and registered into proper data store. Various streams are processed and submitted to theAnalytics and Machine Learning components. It is not just the data stream from the IoT devices but also the blockchain data from our pharma supply chain network is processed by the Data Processors component and applied to the Machine Learning component.

Experts believe that Blockchain holds the solution to the problems of successful  IoT implementations..

Blockchain technology provides a scalable, secure and tamper-proof security framework for IoT. IoT services can become immutable by implementing a decentralized ledger structure  for all data points.. Also, the secure blockchain framework is cost-effective and provides a faster transaction speed. Blockchain s proven, as a robust decentralized model for preventing malicious attacks through single points of failure. This is of utmost important concern considering the data integrity and IoT. 

We firmly believe that Blockchain plays a leading role to provide tamper-proof data solutions in the IoT industry and especially for the Pharma and Healthcare cold chain logistics. Our solutions are working, tested and ready for implementation.  Contact FarmaTrust to digitize your operations and reduce costs.