Blockchain is here

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What is Blockchain?

Sending Data

Accessing data

Blockchain is a term that describes a method of recording data as a growing list of records, also called blocks, using special cryptography to link each block.  Each time a block is created, it is linked to a previous block by adding data that cites to, and builds on, the preceding data block.  Every preceding block includes an identifying hashtag of the previous block, a date and time stamp and specific data regarding the transaction in which the block is involved. 

 

To that same end, blockchain has built in immutability, which means the data cannot be changed without changing the entirety of every following block.  What makes blockchain uniquely suited to securely handle data is blockchain is recorded as a running publically shared decentralized ledger. Therefore, the information in blockchain is accounted for and constantly verified by millions of computers. For example, information is exchange is picture above.

Why is blockchain important in clinical trials?   Clinical trials create enormous amounts of data.   In fact, the success of clinical trials is dependent on the integrity of the data each research study generates.  Data is created, reviewed and passed along to multiple stakeholders in the research process. The number of interactions and transfers of data each exponentially increase the possibility of data compromise:  changes, deletions, and susceptibility to hacking.  Data, as a block in a blockchain, can be accessed simultaneous and on customized bases by every stakeholder.  And, because addition of new data is created by adding new blocks to a blockchain, there is no deletion of data only appending data in on the public ledger. 

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