The Data Lab has kicked off a pilot project to demonstrate the benefits of a blockchain-enabled assurancelayer for tracking medical devices through their lifestyle. Involving Edinburgh Napier University, NHS National Services Scotland, and Spiritus Development Limited, it is designed to demonstrate cyber secure and automated methods for tracking the chain of custody of medical devices through their lifecycle.
It will also extract analytics geared towards improving patient safety, clinical outcomes, and operational efficiency along the patient care pathway.
By combining a blockchain-enabled distributed registry and robust analytics, the project is also seeking to reduce action response time when recalls and field notices are issued by device manufacturers and regulators. Widely used in acute care settings, connected medical devices will increasingly be used to help people manage chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders, through wearables and other mobile-enabled tech.
Cyber security expert Professor Bill Buchanan OBE, who leads cyber security work at Edinburgh Napier University, said:
“With blockchain we have the opportunity to create a more trustworthy health and care infrastructure in Scotland, and that this can be used to both improve both patient safety and cyber security. The research work should be able to showcase that Scotland aims to be a leader in transforming its health and social care infrastructure. Along with this the collaboration with Spiritus brings extensive international experience of integrating data-driven systems within health care, and which are secure, scaleable and robust.”
Spiritus CEO Susan Ramonat added:
“When we looked for places and academic partners with whom to collaborate on such ground-breaking research, Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University stood out. Prof Buchanan’s cyber security expertise and deep commitment to transforming health and social care’s infrastructure are extraordinary and invaluable.
“We believe that both organisations will bring the best to bear through this exciting project. We’re also inspired to Scotland’s commitment to find new ways for delivering health and social care with patient safety and cyber security at the forefront.”