Blockchain has undoubtedly skyrocketed in popularity, expanding into numerous areas of our lives across the world. The greatest example of this recently appeared in Sierra Leone, which became the first country ever to hold an election powered by blockchain technology. This comes at a crucial time. If the US’ 2016 election demonstrated anything, it was the vulnerability of the current processes used to conduct a fair and democratic election. And it appears politics isn’t the only industry being enhanced by blockchain technology.
A new partnership on the horizon looks to disrupt the outdated healthcare sector. Biotron, a fully transparent personal data analytics platform, has signed a letter of intent with Diagnose.me, a global provider of personalized online medical solutions, to create a fully transparent medical data analytics platform using blockchain.
The platform will be used to better organize and analyze global healthcare data, enabling for faster disease outbreak detection and more robust medical research. What’s more, it will also allow patients to take control of and monetize their healthcare data – choosing to share it with whomever they wish.
To get a better understanding of the new partnership and the potential it brings with it, we spoke with Peter Dendis, Co-founder and CMO of Biotron.
I understand you are partnering with Diagnose.me. I realize they have an impressive record within their industry, but what exactly about this company inspired you to work with them?
Biotron’s mission is to solve real-life problems using data and analytics, the expertise and experience that Diagnose.me has, perfectly fits with this goal. In fact, the initial idea behind Biotron was to help prevent people from developing life-threatening health conditions. It was only later on that we realised our solution could be expanded to other use cases and fields such as location intelligence and transport analytics.
Diagnose.me has over five years of experience in the online medical diagnosis space, working with thousands of patients from over fifty-five countries worldwide. The Diagnose.me team will provide the field expertise in health diagnostics and research, go to market strategy, and deployment of the Biotron health data services to its customers.
I also understand this joint venture will likely result in patients being able to take control of and monetise their healthcare data. How do you foresee patients being able to carry this out? In other words, what would this process look like?
People will be able to submit their data through mobile and web applications. The synergy between Diagnose.me and Biotron.io means that we can both onboard new users through our channels.
Other than to create a fully transparent medical data analytics platform, do you see blockchain revolutionising other areas of the medical industry?
Blockchain is still a fairly new technology that is going through a massive hype. We have to be careful not to jump on the bandwagon and implement blockchain just for its own sake. However, there are a number of applications where it can help revolutionise the medical industry. The technology is capable of storing health records on a national or even international level, providing them to doctors when the correct permissions are applied. Currently, it’s too soon to tell, as there is little to no legal framework to ensure this is done suitably.
What was your motivation to create this partnership and bring blockchain into the medical industry like this? Did it come from a personal experience or an awareness for a general gap in the market for this service?
With current technology, it is possible to solve even the most challenging problems, whether it’s traffic congestion or even preventing people from developing life-threatening health conditions. However, to achieve this, we need a lot of data to power the research behind it. Currently, this data is scattered around the world in filing cabinets and private storage held by individual companies. Biotron wants to gather all this data and provide it to relevant partners, such as the research organisations that will eventually help solve these problems.
Are there other industries that Biotron intends to bring its technology into, allowing users to monetise their data?
The first three use cases we’re working on right now are location intelligence, transport analytics, and healthcare data. But that’s just the tip of an iceberg. The implications and possibilities that these three use cases will open up in the future, in combination with other datasets and partners, are virtually limitless.
One year from now, where do you see this partnership heading, and what would you like to achieve together?
In the first phase we’ll have to setup the whole infrastructure and make sure all records are stored securely and that the legal framework is in place. We’re talking about health records, which are very private, so we have to proceed with extreme caution. After that, we can start on-boarding users both through Biotron’s and Diagnose.me’s channels. Once we obtain the critical mass necessary for our use cases, we’ll start analysing and marketing our products. This is the goal for the first year of our cooperation.