This June 6th, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is holding a major conference on blockchain applications for the pharmacy supply chain. This breakthrough event will bring together pharmaceutical professionals, engineers and programmers from around the world. The even will be held at John’s Hopkins University facilities in Rockville, Maryland. Blockchain is the revolutionary new technology the allows two unrelated parties to transact and store information using a complex mathematical string. It powers the popular digital currency bitcoin. The conference will explore how this technology can support new pharma breakthroughs and operations.
IEE Blockchain Forum
The IEEE has over 420,000 members in over 160 countries and is the largest technical professionals group in the world. They group has specifically taken up the cause of promoting blockchain technology to its members and bringing in new partners such as the pharma industry. This powerful technology could create major advances in health care and create many new jobs for IEEE members. For that reason, the group is squarely behind this emerging technology.
The event will be a one day educational forum going in-depth on the power of blockchain technology. The event will not simply review how the technology works. Instead, it is for people that are already familiar with it and are able to understand the technical details discussed at the conference.
The ideal audience and attendees will be specialists that can implement solutions. That includes managers, researchers, programmers, engineers and other company operations personnel. It could include prospective entrepreneurs but will also include academics, government regulators, corporate workers and even some non-governmental non-profit personnel. Some investors and non-technical people may want to attend the event to gain further understanding of the technology and its purposes, although the topics will not be primarily geared for them.
The first topic is optimizing the supply chain from production to patient. Blockchain may be used to provide more transparency and streamline the logistics process in this case. Organizers also hope to better understand the restoration of the integrity of the supply chain using blockchain technology.
Another topic is maximizing the potential revenue from the information stored on the blockchain. Investors, business people and entrepreneurs will be most interested in this topic. Some potential ideas include providing data on trial results or different compounds with an intuitive database or software system.
Event organizers also want presentations on combining other emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and DLTs to optimize the supply chain. Academics, regulators and other innovators might be most interested in this topic. Further, the event will explore how different partners can harmonize different technologies or standards and work together. The event will hopefully start the process of coordinating on singular standards for the industry.
The role of digital identity in the pharma supply chain is another important issue. As more health care is delivered and customized to the individual, this question will inevitably become more important.
Data governance is another key. What will be the standards to store data and how will it be migrated to the blockchain? What software will interact with data and how will users analyze the information?
Lastly, regulators will speak about how they see blockchain technology and its relation to the pharma industry and supply chain. Their guidance will help focus the efforts of industry and research to pursue government objectives, avoid areas the government discourages and also comply with government demands.
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