IBM Watson Health, FDA to study the use of blockchain for secure exchange of health dataJan 22, 2017
IBM Watson Health has teamed-up with FDA to define a secure, efficient and scalable exchange of health data using blockchain technology, which enables organizations to work together with more trust. Under the research initiative, the two parties will explore the exchange of owner mediated data from several sources, such as Electronic Medical Records, clinical trials, genomic data, and health data from mobile devices, wearables and the “Internet of Things.” The initial focus will be on oncology-related data.
By keeping an audit trail of all transactions on an unalterable distributed ledger, blockchain technology establishes accountability and transparency in the data exchange process. In the past, large scale sharing of health data has been limited by concerns of data security and breaches of patient privacy during the data exchange process. To that end, IBM will work to define and build the technological solution for a scalable and decentralized data sharing ecosystem.
“The healthcare industry is undergoing significant changes due to the vast amounts of disparate data being generated,” Shahram Ebadollahi, Vice President for Innovations and Chief Science Officer at IBM Watson Health, said in a statement. “Blockchain technology provides a highly secure, decentralized framework for data sharing that will accelerate innovation throughout the industry.”
The initiative with the FDA is a two-year agreement. Initial research findings will be released later this year.