Blockchain & Big Pharma

 

In the financial world, there’s a lot of talk around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, as well as the term “blockchain.” The blockchain is a technical term for the transaction records of currencies changing hands but done in an anonymized way. A good introduction to the concept of the blockchain is in the TED talk, “How the Blockchain is Changing Money and Business”.

However, the blockchain concept can be used for things beyond financial services. These include revolutionizing how title companies work to rethink the way legal agreements are handled, such as “The Smart Contract.”

I would like to present a case that would benefit the pharmaceutical industry from manufacturing down to the patient level using the blockchain as a transaction and confirmation record.

It is estimated that counterfeit pharmaceuticals cost manufacturers more than $75 billion annually.  While the economic loss is significant, the risk to patients certainly outweigh any financial losses. Counterfeit drugs can result in diminished treatment and in some case may result in death. Some actions have already been put in place through the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA). The DQSA dictates new protocols that require manufacturers to record where a drug has been in the supply chain.  Although this is an improvement over the old process, security risks still exist.

The main risk now lies in the technology being used to record where a particular drug originated from and who handled the drug before it ends up in a patient’s hands. Also, if stored in a traditional database, the information being recorded can be exploited by cyber criminals. There are now over 4,000 cyber attacks a day. Through a cyber attack, counterfeit manufacturers could exploit a manufacturer’s traceability data. The blockchain would prevent a forgers attempt to use traceability data to legitimize a fake drug.

The DQSA act requires a manufacturer to provide traceability of a drug down to the package level. Package level tracking is not a full-proof way to ensure the contents contain the same drug as what is claimed on the label.  An example of this problem came up recently: a celebrity died over what was reported to be a mislabeled package that contained fentanyl (a dangerous drug 100 times more potent than morphine). The only way to ensure the authenticity of a drug is to bring the traceability of a drug to the pill level. There are now several new technologies that would allow for this type of granularity. Combining pill level traceability along with the blockchain is a must for the next generation of safety requirements.

 

“One more thing”  – Steve Jobs

 

By bringing the traceability of a drug to the pill level, new opportunities arise to further improve the quality of care of a patient. Along with blockchain another hot topic has been the dicussion of Medical Adherence. Medical Adherence deals with the way patients correctly follow medical advice (most commonly related to taking medication). Poor Medical Adherence greatly affects two sides of Healthcare.  First, it creates a large loss for the pharmaceutical industry. It is estimated a loss of over $188 billion annually occurs in the US alone. Secondly and more importantly, non-adherence has important health consequences ranging from decreased quality of life, poorly managed symptoms,  and increased mortality rates.

By advancing drug traceability to the pill level, this opens up the opportunity to verify the authenticity of a drug at the patient level. This type of protocol would ensure patient adherence of correct timing and verification of medication administration. As the data is recorded in the blockchain, it can be relayed back to the health care provider. Blockchain has great potential to change the way we record a patient’s heath care history WHILE protecting their protected health information (PHI).

The pharmaceutical industry’s supply chain is often overlooked for what appears to be more exciting healthcare innovations. That is not the case with blockchain. Through existing technologies there is the opportunity to introduce a new approach to Medical Adherence and Pharmaceutical Traceability.

Despite the many frustrations in the healthcare space, now is an exciting time to be involved. There are many new platforms emerging that will change the way healthcare will be delivered in the future.

 

 

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© John Stafira. All rights reserved

 

Visual Search

 

Dynamic Content Delivery Based On Metadata-Seeking Behavior
Dynamic Content Delivery Based On Metadata-Seeking Behavior

 

The extent to which the smartphone and associated technologies are transforming society is phenomenal. Because of technology, instant, specific and personally relevant information can easily be accessed. But the full range and possible uses of information ranging from social interactions to digital shopping are only now being recognized.

Most users start their search on a smartphone within a web browser (or app) to access information that is pertinent to their inquiry. However, technological advancements have made it practical to search beyond the browser to data available in the real world. A picture of a building can provide commercial leasing information or the name of the design architect. Passing near a favorite stores can provide relevant information regarding sales items that match your latest purchase. However, delivering unsolicited information based on previous actions can be polarizing. Nonetheless, there are many non-digital real world examples where the same type of profiling has been used to provide a richer experience.

Successful restaurateurs know this approach and have built strong connections with their cliental. Some patrons like to be recognized by name and be seated at a favorite table or served a complimentary drink or appetizer. Other patrons treated to the same experience may find it embarrassing. That same person, however, may have a special dietary need and would appreciate the staff for accommodating him. To be effective one must monitor the audience’s tastes and variable interests and adjust the approach to fit the particular individual.

To efficiently and effectively deliver the right message to the right person, the new world beyond browser marketing will need a new set of tools both software and hardware. We have developed a suite of proprietary solutions from the physical world to give users what they want when they want it – “Dynamic Content Delivery based on Metadata-Seeking Behavior”. For further information contact me at Stafira.com.

 

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Untitled 60 X 48 Oil

UNTITLED 48 x60 Oil

 

My works are generally inspired by earlier works, intermixed with our changing culture and blended with my own personal social interactions. Finding inspiration is certainly what begins the process; but, it is the pleasure and gratification of seeing the development of the work that drives the desire to seek out new inspirations.

The largest struggle I have in my painting is the work never feels complete. The painting could always use another layer of paint or additional refinements. It rarely feels just right. Determining when a work is complete is a common problem with artists. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” This is the case for most of my oil paintings. However, there is a certain harshness to the word “abandoned.” I like to think my work has simply stopped in an interesting place.

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String Theory

string painting

 

While experimenting with different styles of artistic expression, I stumbled upon and became fascinated with string theory.  This theory was developed by cutting edge physicists to bridge the gap between the general theory of relativity and the mathematics of quantum mechanics.  Basically the theory holds that everything down to and including all sub-atomic particles are composed of randomly vibrating strings.  If everything can be broken down to its most basic commonality then the fundamental questions of life (Who are we? And where are we going?)  must have commonalities which can eventually lead to understanding.

My string paintings combine a representation of the string theory and the unsettled questions endemic in the human condition.  The vibrating strings of energy are represented by strings sewn into the canvas.  The complexities just beyond the relatively uniform energy strings is represented by the interplay of color and texture.  Contemporary issues are represented by pictorials interwoven in the canvas.  The strings and colors seem to bind the pictorials and the issues they represent into a complex yet common fabric and at the same time they minimize the issue within the larger representation of the string theory.

About This Blog

John Stafira

 

Thank you for visiting my blog which explores technologies, art and design. For me there is a strong tie between the subject of art and technology. Both fields involve a creative process that tests ideas and theories. To create in whatever manner a new business or a new painting requires a strong desire to experiment and test convention in hopes of discovering connections that were never seen before.

I am excited to be sharing my creative process with my friends and colleagues in hopes of finding new insights and opportunities.

 

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