The FedEx Institute of Technology exists as a partnership between FedEx and a research arm of the University of Memphis. FedEx is one of the worlds biggest distribution companies and deals with the import and export of products worldwide. Whilst their role within the FedEx Institute of Technology is purely promotional, some of the institutes research practices are of interest to FedEx. Their latest study is one such example of this. According to RTT News, in a new partnership with Good Shepherd Pharmacy, the FedEx Institute of Technology are creating a new blockchain based platform to ensure a more effective distribution of cancer medicines to patients across the United States. According to RTT News:
“Both organizations are developing a blockchain platform, called REMEDI, to retrieve unused medications from cancer patients and pass them on to economically disadvantaged patients.”
Moreover, the CEO of Good Shepherd has said:
"In Tennessee alone, over $10 million worth of perfectly good prescription medication gets flushed down the toilet every year. Blockchain is the solution for that problem. The REMEDI project (REclaiming MEDicine) will divert valuable medication into the hands of patients who would not otherwise use it."
See the full report for yourself, here. The blockchain has real implications for this sort of service. As we know, blockchain technology can improve transparency within medical records and it can also improve the authenticity of medicines, verifying them through the supply chain. Moreover, blockchain technology can also improve transport through updated ledgers and traceability. Tie these inherent advantages together and the FedEx Institute of Technology have really found a way to streamline the processes behind prescribing and delivering cancer medicines, a service which is proving more and more vital.The bottom line here is that this research could very well save lives. This is very, very important. We also need to consider how this technology is being used to retrieve unused medicines to ensure that they can be re-prescribed back to patients who are at an economic disadvantage. Within current conditions, re-using medication is risky, however by introducing a blockchain based authentication system, these medicines can traced, meaning medical service providers can be confident that unused medicine is safe to re-prescribe, in the meantime, saving patients in financial hardship, who need access to this vital medication.