As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid collaboration and innovation became a necessity for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to meet society’s unmet medical needs. Throughout 2020, we witnessed medical professionals and institutions work together from every corner of the globe, exchanging data, tracking viral transmission, and sharing in the development of innovative vaccines and other health technological countermeasures. According to an analysis by McKinsey, the differentiating factor in this pandemic’s response was that “critical information on COVID-19 was quickly made available to the entire scientific community.”
It has taken an enormous collaborative effort to get to where we are today, but even as we slowly begin to beat the virus, the demand for innovative medical solutions remains a burning issue. The technologies developed to streamline communication, development, and care delivery processes are essential for continuing to make leaps and bounds in the increasingly complex, digitized, and internationalized medical arena. Accordingly, medical research professionals are increasingly looking into ways to apply emerging technologies for improving medical research and care delivery, bolstering society for future health emergencies.
Take Triall for example – Triall is a blockchain-based medical infrastructure platform designed to facilitate improved communication and collaboration between medical researchers during so-called ‘clinical trials’. Clinical trials are research studies that are necessary to test the safety and efficacy of new vaccines and medicines before these can be used to prevent or treat diseases in the real world. Hence, clinical trials are a crucial element of a well-functioning healthcare system. Triall’s platform is designed to streamline clinical trial processes, aiming to accelerate the development and rollout of vaccines and medicines safely and affordably across the globe. Triall’s vision is to bring the Web 3.0 to clinical trials, by leveraging the power of emerging decentralized technologies to shape a digital ecosystem of clinical trial software applications, designed to target industry-specific problems.
The Triall ecosystem promises to increase interoperability across domains and borders in the medical research sector by connecting isolated software applications and their users, as well as educating clinical trial stakeholders about new research approaches and innovations. Triall’s ultimate goal is for its platform to foster continued global cooperation, communication, and innovation for the benefit of smarter, safer, and more-efficient development of new medicines.
Easing Collaboration in a Complex Multi-Stakeholder Environment
In today’s clinical trials, a number of complexities lie in the unrelenting digitization and internationalization of the medical research environment – requiring key stakeholders in the development and testing process to enter into a complex web of long-term partnerships. For example, a pharmaceutical company typically outsources a substantial portion of their clinical trial activities to regional, specialized service providers known as contract research organizations. In turn, these contract researchers collaborate with local research sites, hospitals, and other clinical trial service providers to manage the trial, conduct clinical operations, and establish evidence of the safety and efficacy of the candidate vaccine or therapeutic. All these partnerships need to be carefully considered and monitored at all stages, as they can have a significant impact on the quality, efficiency, and overall success of clinical trial projects. Moreover, to safeguard privacy of medical data and assure integrity of the research process, appropriate measures need to be taken for data handling between all parties involved.
By integrating with blockchain technology, Triall offers clinical trial stakeholders a unique environment for secure and efficient collaboration. Triall’s environment will host a series of modular and complementary software applications, which are developed in close collaboration with clinical trial professionals to ensure that each targets specific industry pain points. Each of these ‘eClinical’ applications is designed to greatly improve data integrity, auditability, and task efficiency in modern-day clinical trial processes.
Triall’s First Blockchain-Enabled Product Finding Real-World Adoption
As it stands, Triall’s first working product, Verial eTMF, is in production and currently being onboarded by 6 commercial clinical trial projects across 3 countries, involving approximately 2,500 participants. To develop and commercialize Verial eTMF, Triall has leveraged its team’s extensive experience in the industry. Combined, the team has managed over 100 clinical trials across over 30 countries, successfully grown companies both in the Life Sciences and Software/Blockchain-as-a-Service industries, and published over 250 peer-reviewed papers on innovation in medical research.
Besides software applications, Triall provides APIs that enable existing third-party applications to connect to Triall’s blockchain infrastructure. As a result, currently isolated clinical trial software applications are offered an easy entry to blockchain functionalities, and are enabled to integrate with other applications that are connected to the Triall ecosystem via decentralized identity and access management protocols. This represents a unique ecosystem approach, which directly answers to growing calls for data security and traceability in the increasingly digital and fragmented clinical trials environment.
Bridging Two Industries
As Triall is pioneering the use of blockchain-enabled technology in its industry domain, technological education presents a critical success factor. Moreover, it is key to communicate the promising opportunities for blockchain in clinical trials to the crypto space. Triall is undertaking a global platform adoption campaign that aims to educate and engage both industries through the development and use of its platform. To build a diverse and self-sustaining community that bridges the medical and crypto domains, Triall has introduced a Triall Community Fund and several additional mechanisms to incentivize community engagement, knowledge sharing, and bottom-up innovation initiatives.
Ultimately, this should facilitate the growth of the world’s first tokenized ecosystem for clinical trials, in which a community of clinical trial professionals, software providers, token investors, and other ecosystem stakeholders are incentivized to create and capture value.
Blockchain-Enabled Technologies as the Future of Healthcare
With product and token development well underway, Triall now finds support from an increasing value network of stakeholders in both the clinical trials and the crypto space. The team has paired with medical specialists, clinical contract research organizations, medical IT developers, and academia around the world. Moreover, Triall has found backing by well-established crypto-focused investors and partners, including Zokyo.io, Trustpad, OIG, CSP DAO, and Prostarter.
Just last year, at the height of the global pandemic, Triall secured an undisclosed investment from Dizer Capital, a private equity firm focused on startups in the technology sector. The investment provided by Dizer Capital enabled Triall to develop Verial eTMF, which as stated above, is the first of Triall’s products in commercial use. Speaking at the time, Triall’s CEO, Hadil Es-Sbai said of the investment:
“We are very happy to have a knowledgeable investor on board that is passionate about the promises of blockchain technology and rooted in the crypto community. Dizer Capital will support Triall in taking our initiative to the next stage, bringing us one step closer to our vision for a future of smarter, safer and more-efficient clinical trials.”
In the near-future, Triall is planning a series of new releases, including Trialwiki; a public clinical trial knowledge base, Trial CTMS; a comprehensive clinical trial management system and Triall Connect API Library; a tool which will establish secure and efficient data links, as well as the release of additional features for Verial eTMF. Combined with an ambitious team expansion, Triall is pioneering the future of clinical research.
For more on Triall and its plans for the future of clinical research collaboration, visit their main site here.