Based on a new patent called, “Blockchain for Open Scientific Research,” International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has made plans to rely on the trustworthiness of Blockchain to aid in scientific research. This platform will be used to record data obtained, the analysis carried out, observations and other results obtained.
Blockchain as a Truthworthy Platform to Handle Scientific Research
The patent was first filed in December 2017 and Blockchain is also employed because of its ability to handle technicalities. Here, the project will consist of several blocks where the first will handle research data and the second, analysis data. Accordingly, the latter will be a log of analysis of the processed research data. There will also be a post analysis of the resulting data.
Part of the patent reads that;
The subject disclosure relates to integrating a blockchain and data collection and analysis for open scientific research. Currently, there are limited platforms that allow for sharing information about scientific research and showing transparent data collection and analysis steps. Platforms that do exist, lack the requisite controls and mechanisms to allow for trustworthy data, as there are few options for ensuring that data will be resistant to modification.
Blockchain to Reduce Problems Faced in Biomedical Research
The patent also cited an example which is based on the publication by Topol’s, “Money Back Guarantees for Non-Reproducible Results.” Here, it is believed that the use of Blockchain technology can combat some of the problems in biomedical research. It can record all the steps involved in a clinical research protocol. Also, all the members of the research can access the data at the same time.
The document went further to explain that Topol had only pointed out that the Blockchain could handle issues related to data transparency. Moreso, the ability to allow researchers in a peer-to-peer organization share time-stamped data. Alternatively, there were still possibilities it failed to outline.
According to the Patent, these were
1) mixed confidentiality policies, 2) researchers having access to real-time logs of analyses (only to changes to an analysis plan), 3) blockchain logging of the analytical steps via connection of analytical software to a blockchain contract, 4) any methods or algorithms to assess the statistical power of the underlying result by analysis of steps on the blockchain
Recently, IBM partnered with Seagate to enable the storage of unique ID’s on hard drives on its Blockchain platform. This is a step taken to reduce the number of counterfeit hard drives that are currently circulating in the market.