Digital currencies are increasingly being accused of worsening the opioid crisis as facilitate anonymous buying and selling of drugs.
Intel and the entire pharmaceutical industry are planning to start a massive fight with the opioids. Chip maker working with medical companies, will attempt to use Blockchain technology to improve methods of tracking drugs and in the long term to stop the epidemic.
The idea is to identify weaknesses in the supply chain through which seep medicines. Also, the blockchain can help with the problem of “double treatment” is when the patient is suffering from addiction, receive multiple prescriptions from several doctors.
“This will significantly reduce the proliferation of of opioids,” — says David Houlding, Director of the privacy and security of health care in the Intel Health and Life Sciences. “I wouldn’t say that this will eliminate the problem completely, but it will help.”
A new method started to be monitored in the spring of this year, when Johnson & Johnson , McKesson Corp. other companies introduced a simulated data in the new digital books. The experiment shows how difficult it was to track pills from the manufacturer to the home of the patient.
The ultimate goal, according to David, is the fact that all drug-related companies and their suppliers worldwide will be included in the blockchain that can’t be erased. Then government agencies, such as the control over products and medicines, can connect to the blockchain and provide supervision.
Opioid crisis was caused by the rapid recipes that are sold in pharmacies, hospitals and offices of physicians. The number of prescriptions for opioids increased almost four times in the first decade of the 2000s years, despite the lack of reports of an increase in pain symptoms among Americans. One study showed that each year more than 100 million tablets prescribed when you remove the teeth, remain unused and unaccounted for.
To opioids also include heroin, painkillers such as OxyContin, and street versions that mimic their effects, such as fentanyl. Deaths from overdose have increased steadily for 16 years. About 115 Americans die every day from overdoses.
The seriousness of the situation attracts a wide range of companies and organizations, including technology companies.
The blockchain can help track medication before reaching the patient, and uses the encrypted nature of the technology to ensure confidentiality.
ISolve Startup is working on a system BlockRx that using the blockchain to associate each representative of pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices.
One of the main problems is that patients can cross state lines to get new recipes.
To solve this problem, Appriss Inc. created a software that sifts record of recipes from 45 States to identify potential abusers of opioids. However, such systems are not secure: the excess of the dosage prescribed to patients, can fall into the hands of children, friends and neighbors. Doctors can check patient stories, before the appointment, or records in databases can be modified.
As for the Blockchain, write it unchanged.
“The industry can certainly benefit from the use of unchanged base data,” says Lucas Nutstsi , senior analyst, Digital Asset Research.
The use of sensors and scanners to ensure accuracy of input information. After the pharmacy issues a medication and scans it, the entry will appear in the blockchain. Every bottle, every pill, can be traced through the supply chain. And the ones that leaked, can be detected.
“The blockchain is really good at combining systems that do not interact with each other,” said Glover. If all fails, then one system will be the several States, the company manufacturers and pharmacies.