IoT firm deploys blockchain to transform pharmaceutical shipments

IoT firm deploys blockchain to transform pharmaceutical shipments

IoT and supply chain specialist Brieftrace has developed a blockchain solution to transform the way that pharmaceutical companies track their assets.

The firm has teamed up with transport and logistics company DSV on a pilot programme that deploys blockchain-connected tracking and sensing devices to monitor pharmaceutical shipments.

The pilot is based on blockchain network Traceum, which facilitates smart contracts, fiat currency transactions, fixed transaction fees, partner ecosystem transparency, trusted data, and data archiving.

The new system gives companies the ability to monitor issues such as product temperature, humidity, and light exposure – which can affect many drugs. This information is then turned into blockchain transactions, along with vehicles’ locations.

This information is stored on an IoT device and connected to a mobile network.

Brieftrace explained that the solution can “activate smart contracts on the designated blockchain network”. These are the computer protocols that enable and verify electronic transactions. 

The smart contract technology “defines shipment terms such as temperature range and arrival time”, said Brieftrace in a statement. It is hoped that the trial will improve shipment outcomes and performance.

Blockchain to the rescue

Shimon Shahar, head of the pharmaceutical vertical at DSV, said his company is looking to tap into the power of blockchain.

“We believe it will allow us to provide a better service for our customers, through the superior real-time tracking capability, transparency, and trustworthiness created by the blockchain environment,” he said.

“We believe that a connected supply chain will serve both our customers and our vendors. In the near future, blockchain technology will overcome fragmentation and information discrepancies, which are prevalent in today’s supply chain structures.”  

Read more: Cryptocurrencies failing, claims Bank of England. But is it right?

Eyal Kamir, CEO of Brieftrace, said the technology could transform the medical sector. “It is truly exciting to witness the blockchain and the physical world being connected through our blockchain IoT technology,” he said.

“I believe that fully automated smart contracts are going to change how business is conducted in the future. We will continue to invest, test and ship blockchain hardware as well as the network features to enable this bright future.”

Internet of Business says

Bank of England Mark Carney’s recent claim that cryptocurrencies are “failing” and that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are not a viable replacement for traditional banking and trusted processes was – as our in-depth report explains – grossly misinformed.

The reason is to be found in new ventures and pilot programmes such as this, which seek to embed trust and verification into every part of the supply chain, improving both and creating a more efficient, seamless and sustainable system.

It isn’t without its own challenges, of course. In some applications, blockchain may attach human beings to rigid systems: our report on Mr Carney’s speech used the example of a professional driver who is afraid to get out of his vehicle because he will stop being paid. But of course, transport itself will become increasingly automated, and blockchain will be a core part of that infrastructure too.

In a sense, blockchain is the transaction system of an automated future.

Read more: Blockchain platform for AI bots announces key partners

Read more: Opinion: Use blockchain to build a global data commons

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