Cryptopharmaceuticals: increasing the safety of medication by a blockchain of pharmaceutical products

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The future health care system will contain an ever expanding number of digital elements. The data stored both at a centralized health care level and at a local, patient level (e.g. on a smartphone) will be core elements when deciding treatment strategies in a health care scenario with Internet of Things (IoT) based elements. The current way of manufacturing pharmaceutical products and related existing logistic solutions are not ready for such a revolution. One of the key challenges is cybersecurity and related robust public key infrastructure (PKI) solution. This work introduces one element of a potential solution at a prototype level: the concept of cryptopharmaceuticals, where pharmaceutical products are connected in a patient-specific blockchain of individual dosage units. This technology is based on the concept where each produced dosage unit has a unique information-rich pattern (IRP). A proof of concept smartphone app was applied to demonstrate the visualization of this blockchain at different levels. This includes the manufacturing of the individualized dosage unit, the patient view for his/her personal blockchain, and integration of these products into a health IoT system. This unbreakable blockchain of personal medication history will provide means to avoid counterfeit products and to enable innovative logistic solutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2838–2841
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 217551733