UK-based blockchain firm MediConnect announced the addition of online pharmacy My Net Doctor to its platform for tracing prescription drugs. My Net Doctor will join another pharmacy UK Meds in a proof of concept. MediConnect is planning a pilot in 2020.
Drug dependence and addiction is a growing problem globally. The United States is currently facing an opioid crisis which claimed over 17,000 lives in 2016. The problem is patients obtain medicines online by using the same prescriptions multiple times. MediConnect is trying to prevent this overuse of medications, while also ensuring medicine provenance in the pharma supply chain.
“My Net Doctor has built a strong customer-base by placing its patients at the heart of everything it does, and the integration of MediConnect will add the most secure safeguards against the abuse of prescription medication,” said Dexter Blackstock, CEO of MediConnect.
Online pharmacies UK Meds andTower Health came up with the idea of a single shared source of prescriptions in 2017. That eventually resulted in the formation of MediConnect. They selected the Stratis blockchain, the Stratis Group helped to develop the application, and Chris Tew, the founder and CEO of Stratis, is also one of the advisors for MediConnect.
The platform’s private blockchain will record customer prescription data and provenance data for medicines. Meanwhile, the public blockchain is for the payment transactions between pharmacies and customers using MEDI tokens.
The blockchain firm recently raised about $850,000 though an ICO of its MEDI tokens on the Stratis blockchain. These tokens can be used for payments to pharmacies, and consumers and can also win them by enrolling in loyalty programs. The tokens will be converted to fiat currency by MediConnect for ease of business for pharmacies.
Given MediConnect’s aim is to create a single source of prescription data for all pharmacies, there is the question of integrating physical pharmacies which do not have an online presence. Otherwise, a prescription could be used both online and offline.
A similar blockchain project is currently in works in China. Last year, Ant Financial and Shanghai-based Huashan Hospital launched a blockchain drug prescription service in China.
Meanwhile, Stratis is a proof-of-stake blockchain that targets developers that use Microsoft skills such as C# and .NET to create decentralized applications. Other features of Stratis are a free-to-use ICO platform and Stratis Sidechains which allow companies to develop customized blockchains.