HonestBlocks: Counterfeit Medicine

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Uploaded by Alishba Imran in Mississauga
Region: Peel District School Board      Category: Technology
School Name: Stephen Lewis Secondary School

An issue which is seen of underdeveloped and developed countries is Counterfeit Medicine. Specifically, in developing countries and areas in Africa, and India around 30-40% of their medicine is counterfeit, and this $30 billion industry causes around 1.5 million deaths each year. That is crazy! Basically 10 out of every 100 medicine out there right now is not authentic or properly sourced. Companies like IBM, and Oracle are starting to tackle these issues but I wanted to see how I could not only solve this issue but also create a collaborative platform for patients to manage and track their records. And this is how I created Honest Blocks.


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I’ve developed an application called Honest Blocks which hopes to create more transparency, collaboration, and solve an important issue in our healthcare industry; counterfeiting. The project is built on Hyperledger Fabric, which is an open-source blockchain framework. Blockchains distributed ledger approach differs from traditional databases as its records are decentralized. There is no single point of failure for the data storage, and the ledger is synchronized across the network, which in this case comprises of manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, hospitals and authorities. The process of keeping the ledger up to date with all parties in agreement is through Hyperledger Fabrics process of consensus. This involves ordering of transactions or transfers of medication and participating peers on the network to agree on and commit changes to the ledger. Fabric allows for the offers the creation of 'channels', which allows a group of participants to create partitioned ledgers for transactions. This allows for commercial entities who may pay or charge different prices to different clients. Basically, the application is filled with individual database populated with some example drug packets. For each patient and medicine, the manufacturer, ID number of a particular drug packet, timestamp of when it was added to the ledger, the current holder and location are noted. Each time we add a packet to the registry, and Hyperledger generates a unique transaction ID for this event. You are able to change the holder (in this case, from pharmacy chain KVS to a doctor's office), and again a transaction ID logs this event. In real life, the drug itself would have a unique RFID, or QR code and would be recycled each time it reaches the consumer.


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