Despite its cons, cryptocurrency has introduced powerful technologies to the market, including blockchain protocols which essentially act as an advanced ledger for cryptocurrency exchanges. However, this technology is now being utilized for the protection of numerous industries, including the healthcare industry by preventing counterfeit pharmaceuticals from entering the market.
A paper published by Portland University researchers outlined how blockchain technology could be used as an anti-counterfeiting system for numerous industries. But, understanding how this technology can be applied to various markets means taking a closer look at its use in cryptocurrency.
Essentially, cryptocurrency platforms utilize blockchain technology to store and track the incoming and outgoing transactions that they facilitate. These transactions are stored across numerous computers that are linked by a peer-to-peer network. The history of transactions stored on the blockchain is extensive, and allow those in control to view a detailed account of exactly what is going on with each transaction.
For non-cryptocurrency industries, blockchain technology represents a unique solution in preventing the distribution of counterfeit products, as companies can track each segment of a transaction and verify its validity. This allows companies to establish a secure supply chain, and even determine which transactions are linked to counterfeit goods or fraudulent activity.
Companies like IBM have already implemented blockchain technology into their existing platforms. In the case of IBM, blockchain protocols have allowed them to verify the source of hard drives and other products to prevent the distribution of counterfeit replacements, which has been a substantial issue for the tech giant in the past.
Another example is the company, Medici Ventures, which is a subsidiary of the well-known Overstock.com. Medici Ventures recently invested in a tech company based in Israel in the hopes that they could develop blockchain technology for their wine futures platform in an effort to prevent fraudulent activities by securing their supply chain.
But, how does this technology apply to the healthcare industry? Currently, fake pharmaceuticals plague the healthcare industry, causing harm to the recipients of these drugs. Tracking where these counterfeit pharmaceuticals came from is difficult, which leads to repeated offenses. However, with blockchain protocols in place, the healthcare industry would have a secure ledger in place that could track and eliminate the sources of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Eventually, healthcare providers using blockchain technology would have a series of verified networks to do business with, effectively freeing the market of harmful counterfeit drugs.
While it may be some time before blockchain technology becomes a standard component of industry platforms around the world, it seems as though it is beginning to catch on. While various types of companies have a lot to gain from this technology, companies involved in the healthcare industry have a unique opportunity to eliminate the presence of fake drugs on the market, and we can only hope that they take advantage of it.
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