Medical records, arguably the most valuable data in the world, exists across multiple platforms. The comprehensive medical history of a single person is likely scattered across several different companies, stored in varying systems and locations. How valuable would that data be if it could all be stored in one place, while still remaining secure and entirely confidential?
This is a sponsored article provided by the Vanbex Group.
BurstIQ: The Health Singularity
BurstIQ wants to explore that possibility with their upcoming platform, creating what they call the “health singularity.” The platform will reportedly use a combination of blockchain technology, smart contracts, encryption, and machine learning to permanently record health data in a secure environment.
By creating what they call a “Life Graph” for every person in the world, BurstIQ believes it can give people full access to their own medical information, and connect them to the broader platform to find the best treatments. Individuals can choose who to share their data with, and those healthcare providers will theoretically be able to leverage the platform to find the perfect solution to their patients’ problems.
And as this platform develops and grows, the team behind it says it will “create a deep learning environment” to further enhance future care. Solution providers with access to patient data can use it for research purposes — both academic and commercial — to advance medical technology.
As part of that deep learning environment, BurstIQ will feature a marketplace where individuals can trade or sell their data to researchers and healthcare providers.
And to keep all this data safe and in the right hands, the platform will use blockchain and encryption technology to ward off hackers — a menace to the modern medical data industry.
Thus, the ultimate idea behind the platform, says BurstIQ, is to empower and protect the individual when it comes to their own health — both medically and financially.
How Does It Work?
BurstIQ’s white paper breaks the platform down into three “service levels” that make up the user interface, data transactions, and storage and security. The developers call these three layers the Ecosystem, LifeGraph, and Data Grid, respectively.
The Ecosystem layer is the surface layer of BurstIQ, where users interact with the platform. In this layer, users have access to whatever tools have been built and provided by third-parties.
“These service layer solutions can be highly diverse,” the white paper states, “from deep learning tools to business analytics to chain of custody management to clinical research solutions.”
“Solutions can range in complexity from a data processing engine to a fully formed front-end UI that provides a full stack application using the platform protocols.”
In essence, the Ecosystem layer is where most market-facing activity takes place. Everything that secures and supports the activity in the Ecosystem takes place in the other two layers.
Directly below the Ecosystem lies the LifeGraph, what BurstIQ calls the heart of the platform. Every user has their own LifeGraph, and it contains all the medical information of the respective users. According to the white paper, everything revolves around these LifeGraphs. Their data gets used for research, for recommending treatments, and developing new treatments. Additionally, individuals can sell their data to those third-parties looking to create new products.
Finally, there’s the Data Grid, which powers the platform. The deepest of the three layers, the Data Grid houses all the foundational technology that drives BurstIQ.
In order to protect LifeGraph information, the Data Grid stores it all on the BurstChain, a permissioned blockchain created and owned by BurstIQ. Yes, a private blockchain. Despite community criticism of permissioned chains in general, developers say it’s the best choice for this particular project:
“Traditional blockchain does nothing to protect data; all data on the chain is open and transparent. In the healthcare context, this is a non-starter, as Protected Health Information (PHI) must be protected to comply with HIPAA requirements.”
BurstIQ’s white paper claims the proprietary BurstChain ensures this protection through “on-chain smart contracts, timer-based events, and on-chain analytics.” This technology is what keeps LifeGraph data private. In theory, no one except the data owner can send, sell, or give permission to use their data otherwise.
Other privacy tools, such as cloaking, sharding, encryption, and Digital Rights Management, are built into the DataGrid to further secure LifeGraph data in ways the blockchain might not be able to.
The project’s white paper contains a business and technical roadmap for BurstIQ, starting from its formation in 2015 and ending in 2018, when the platform is scheduled to be completed with the launch of the data marketplace and a fully-functioning BurstChain.
Currently, the project is funded by private investors, having secured its initial funding in 2015 through a seed round. More information about this project can be found in the white paper, accessible here: https://www.burstiq.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BurstIQ-whitepaper_19Jul2017reduced.pdf
Do you think BurstIQ is a practical platform for the healthcare industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay, BurstIQ
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