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Blockchain for Pharma Series – Part 1

In this series, participants from the 16 November 2016, Pharma Blockchain Bootcamp, lend their insights into the future of distributed ledger technology.

Reid H. Graves
Sr. Consultant, Enterprise System Partners (ESP)


1. What is blockchain in your terms?
Blockchain is a new innovative technology that can be programmed to track and trace Life Science products through the supply chain, including changes of ownership amongst trading partners. It can do so in a secure, trustworthy, and efficient manner.

2. How will it change the way the world works?
Due to its flexibility, we can’t imagine all the ways it will eventually be used. The possibilities are enormous. In the short-term, it can be used to ensure immutable records are shared in a distributed ledger system that is interoperable for all trading partners within the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry. This will aid in securing our end-to- end supply chains and combating counterfeit medications.

3. What type of standards/open source bases will need to exist for your view to be realized?
Many of the data elements (both Master Data and Transactional Data) needed for a blockchain are already stored in ERP/DRP systems serving the industry today. Building prototypes, pilots and proof-of-concept systems will be needed to flush out the capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of a block chain solution. If we get started soon, we can direct the outcome. If we wait, it will be imposed upon us.

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Guest Contributor

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) is a leading consensus building organization that nurtures, develops, and advances global technologies. Providing a neutral and open platform to empower innovators across borders and disciplines, IEEE SA facilitates standards development and standards related solutions, such as technology incubation, alliance consortia formation, open source, etc. With collaborative thought leaders in more than 160 countries, we enable the collaborative exploration of emerging technologies, the identification of existing challenges and opportunities, and the development of recommendations, solutions, and technology standards that solve market-relevant problems. Collectively, we are raising the standards that benefit industry and humanity; making technology better, safer, and sustainable for the future.

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