EY Hails “Healthcare Breakthrough” with Blockchain

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  • EY has achieved a “healthcare breakthrough” by integrating blockchain into blood supply chain management
  • EY Canada partnered with CBS to enhance transparency and security in the storage and transit of plasma
  • The strategic alliance aims to revolutionize operations, utilizing blockchain and IoT to streamline plasma storage and transfer data collection.

Accounting giant EY has announced a “healthcare breakthrough” after successfully using blockchain technology to revolutionize blood supply chain management. EY Canada has forged a strategic alliance with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to integrate blockchain technology into their operations, which aims to bolster transparency and security within the blood supply chain. The technology, together with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, is an ideal solution to increase the efficiency of data collection and publication surrounding plasma storage and transfer.

Blockchain Helping the Blood Flow

EY Canada revealed the partnership yesterday, pointing out the difficulties associated with the transfer and storage of blood:

…each unit of blood can travel thousands of miles. Knowing where products are, and what condition they are in, is essential to running any supply chain, from minerals to food to consumer products. But with blood this accountability is even more important because what’s at stake is not the continuing business of impatient customers but people’s lives. 

EY and CBS trialed the use of blockchain technology to give it greater monitoring powers over the plasma in the system, with Warren Tomlin, Digital and Innovation Leader for EY Canada, noting that “Blockchain is an ideal technology to add security and visibility to the blood supply network.”

Fresh Start or False Dawn?

The integration of blockchain technology involves a meticulous seven-stage scanning regimen, supported by IoT sensors, to record crucial data such as blood temperature and location. “Every time we get an IoT update of blood temperature, this is recorded on the blockchain,” Tomlin explained to Healthcare Digital, highlighting the platform’s robust capability to maintain data integrity throughout the supply chain.

EY added that the new methodology allows data analysts to “correlate patient outcomes with variables such as the gender of their blood donor, or the temperature at which the products they received had been transported,” all of which “could inspire changes to the blood system that benefit patients.”

The pilot is a perfect use case for blockchain technology, one of the very few in use despite it being in the technological lexicon for at least seven years. Hopefully, this innovative approach to handling such a crucial commodity as blood will give other industries the confidence to try blockchain themselves.