GBA Ethics Office-Hot Topics Series: Applied BioEthics for Blockchain

This article highlights the benefits of using blockchain for research. Blockchain has the capability to enable automation,increased efficiency and efficiency of the complex research processes while ensuring that all foundational principles of bioethics are upheld. In addition to addressing the nuances involved for securing appropriate research consents, the authors also introduce the novel concept of prosenting which further enhances data governance and audit capabilities when blockchain technologies are used for research trials.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blockchain technology can enhance autonomy of patients, by giving them much greater control over their data.
  • By greatly facilitating medical research efficiency and by reducing biases and opportunities for errors, blockchain technology ensures that the foundational principles of beneficence are being upheld.
  • The ability pseudonymously aggregate data enables justice for research participants when blockchain technology is deployed.

Future Direction

Further work needs to be done by the scientific and professional community to create specific customized bioethics guidelines and implementation toolkits that can be used by organizations wishing to deploy blockchain for their research enterprise.

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