Jake Dreier, Pistoia Alliance discusses the outcomes from our Blockchain Use Case Analysis workshop.

The Blockchain Use Case Analysis Workshop on 12 March 2019 was an incredibly exciting experience to be a part of. Representatives from companies around the world gathered to collaborate, analyze, and develop use cases for blockchain technology in Life Sciences R&D. These efforts resulted in multiple use cases with the potential to drive meaningful innovation in the industry.


Part of what made the workshop a success, is that it capitalized upon blockchain education the Pistoia Alliance had led for its members since the inception of the Blockchain Community of Interest in Q4 2017. The Pistoia Alliance hit the ground running into 2018, hired a blockchain analyst, and throughout the year led webinars, a blockchain bootcamp, and a blockchain hackathon globally.


In the beginning of 2019 I came aboard as the blockchain project manager to continue to drive these efforts forward. My journey into blockchain began in 2015 when I was completing my MBA at Yale. I was fresh off an internship with Goldman Sachs and I was invited by one of my professors to do an independent study on blockchain technology. After graduating and starting my own technology company, I joined SimplyVital Health which utilizes blockchain technology in the healthcare sector. These experiences made me aware of the education and intentionality it takes to develop blockchain use cases. With that said, the fact that the Pistoia Alliance was driving toward a use case workshop also meant that we couldn’t get stuck merely contemplating blockchain’s applications. We needed our members to feel confident moving from theory to action.


So at the Pistoia Alliance, we built out programming which would give our members a foundation of knowledge to make the 12 March workshop meaningful. We led a webinar dedicated to the intersection of blockchain and IOT, provided members with educational content on blockchain they could review at their own pace, and led a pre-workshop meeting where participants began to share initial ideas and questions they had for use cases. We then tailored the programming of the workshop to fit the needs and interests of the community.


Once the Use Case Analysis Workshop finally began, the Fraunhofer Institute walked Pistoia Alliance members through a methodology for identifying blockchain use cases, analyzing their viability and assessing their potential for impact. Several possible use cases emerged from the workshop and the group selected three which the participants believed could be taken to a proof of concept stage. The three use cases selected by the group were:


  • Consent management: Using blockchain and smart contracts to manage patient consent forms.
  • Manufacturing API: Using blockchain to manage the provenance of material from supply chain management to active pharma ingredient (API)
  • ChemChain: Using blockchain to register and identify unique compounds.


These use cases will be worked up into proof of concept proposals for the membership to consider.  If you are interested in participating or funding one of those, please get in touch with me (Jake Dreier) at jake.dreier@pistoiaalliance.org or vist https://ip3.pistoiaalliance.org/subdomain/main/end/node/1841


Thanks to the Fraunhofer Institute for their help and support in running this event.


Jake Dreier is the Blockchain Project Manager for the Pistoia Alliance