Health data is fragmented; generated by and kept in separate inefficient systems. A blockchain startup is trying to solve this problem and – while it is at this point – addresses the current problems of the DNA test industry.
Privacy Concerns and give others the advantage prevented effective sharing of health data from one institution to another. One consequence of this situation is that patient data does not serve patients as it could and health care is not as effective as it might be.
Current electronic medical records (EMRs) use incompatible data standards, which further complicates patient information exchange in real time. A startup is trying to solve this problem by developing a blockchain-based health information exchange system ( HIE ).
Blockchain-based health information exchange
The purpose of the TimiHealth-proposed system – according to the white paper – is to develop a solution that will "ensure health information". The system "will effectively provide patient records consistently and in real time, which can only be accessed through an intelligent contract after patient authorization."
This last feature of the platform can be one of the most important features of the system as it allows patients to maintain control and ownership of their data. Will Lowe, the founder of TimiHealth, has explicitly stated that the exciting thing about putting the data on the blockchain "is that it changes the paradigm of data ownership and this is the core of what drives us.We see the future as consumer empowerment with the ownership of their data. "
He was not talking about data not specified in this particular instance. He was referring to the genetic code. The DNA test industry may be the best example of a faulty system that a blockchain-based HIE can solve.
The sale of the genetic code in the DNA test industry
The most popular DNA testing companies have been on news lately because they sell user data for profit, without users being aware of it. Joyce Lignell – the president of TimiHealth – said that "many believe they are sharing data to support non-profit research due to overly complicated terms of service and unethical opt-in policies."
User data of such companies are sold to millions to expose the intimate characteristics of customers, without even giving it a cut. DNA data can determine many things that most people would like to keep private, if not even secret.
There are genetic tests for mental illnesses intelligence personality traits or even risk of heart attack . All this information is only a small part of what companies like 23andMe or Ancestry reveal by selling data on DNA.
The significance of this data is probably part of the reason why Lignell declared that "there should be regulations against the sale of any health information without the clear understanding and consent of the consumer."
Blockchain is a solution to privacy and privacy of DNA ownership data
The TimiHealth platform, TimiDNA, will start testing the user's DNA. By choosing TimiDNA tests, their DNA users will find themselves in a completely different situation compared to the aforementioned competitors.
The TimiDNA platform protects DNA data on a blockchain and grants it to ensure its users full ownership and control over their genetic code. TimiDNA is also a market where users can opt-in and sell their data and profit from it.
The founder of TimiHealth said he was willing to "take data buyers on DNA to each consumer who decides later" The plan is to let users maintain 70% of the profits from the sale of their genetic data and do so only when the user explicitly authorizes it. "
According to Lignell, this is only the first step towards a major change in the industry:" I see a time when the consumer drives the price of data and the model business changes accordingly. "