March 16, 2023
min read

There’s a worrying amount of fraud in medical research

According to The Economist, as much as 1 in 50 research papers includes results which are unreliable because of fabrication, plagiarism, or serious errors.

Fabricated clinical trial papers

A large amount of these fabricated papers claim to report on clinical trials. Common patterns among fraudulent clinical trial papers include unusually big effects of the reported treatments, peculiar drop-out rates among participants, or the same data appearing in different trial reports.

The University of Aberdeen assessed the impact of 27 retracted clinical trial papers, included in 88 systematic reviews and clinical guidelines, and concluded that in half of those the conclusion was likely to change if the retracted trials were removed.

Research integrity experts worry about an arms race between fabricators and those employed to catch them, a fear which has only been amplified by the rise of increasingly sophisticated AI tools.

Verifiable proof of data integrity and authenticity

Triall aims to make clinical research more reliable and verifiable using blockchain. Using blockchain anchoring we can de-risk the likelihood of intentional and unintentional data manipulation by making trial-related data, documents, and processes tamper-resistant. This will allow researchers to prove and verify a priori hypotheses for the study protocol, appropriate consent management prior to data collection, and unaltered data after database lock.


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