The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Clinical Trial Data Integrity
In this study it was shown how a new and emerging technology known as Blockchain, a data management platform, possesses the potential to address some of the predominant issues pertaining to clinical data integrity within clinical trial research studies. However, many obstacles and challenges persist with its implementation and these must be addressed, understood and solved before the technology can be utilized to manage clinical data. The main research objective of this study was to examine how Blockchain could be suited to address the concerns relating to clinical data integrity and to address the perceptions of participants involved with clinical data management to the technology and its potential application within clinical trials. Through an exploratory quantitative and qualitative mixed methods approach aligned with a pragmatist research philosophy, primary data was collected from participants who were purposively selected from a homogenous sampling pool that consisted of those with backgrounds in clinical data management. Primary data produced from this study highlighted the correlation of data issues that contribute towards the lack of integrity of clinical data with those found in secondary research. It was also found that the perception of Blockchain was generally positive and favorable towards its adoption within clinical trials. However, there was a degree of uncertainty surrounding the security of data within Blockchain. Various challenges were identified, primarily, the complexity of the technology and challenges related to compliancy with data protection laws. The conclusive determination of Blockchain’s suitability to address clinical data concerns, however, remains unanswered and further research is needed to test the application of Blockchain in real-world clinical trial environments. Further research and studies are also necessary to address the many challenges that face Blockchains implementation with clinical data management.