The successful implementation of pharmacogenetics (PGx) into clinical practice requires patient genomic data to be shared between stakeholders in multiple settings. This creates a number of barriers to widespread adoption of PGx, including privacy concerns related to the storage and movement of identifiable genomic data. Informatic solutions that supported secure and equitable data access for genomic data are therefore important to PGx. Here we propose a methodology that uses smart contracts implemented on a blockchain-based framework, PGxChain, to address this issue. The design requirements for PGxChain were identified through a systematic literature review, identifying technical challenges and barriers impeding the clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics. These requirements included security and privacy, accessibility, interoperability, traceability and legal compliance. A proof-of-concept implementation based on Ethereum was then developed that met the design requirements. PGxChain's performance was examined using Hyperledger Caliper for latency, throughput, and transaction success rate. The findings clearly indicate that blockchain technology offers considerable potential to advance pharmacogenetic data sharing, particularly with regard to PGx data security and privacy, large scale accessibility of PGx data, PGx data interoperability between multiple health care providers and compliance with data-sharing laws and regulations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Pharmacogenomics Journal
Early online date22 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2022


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