Block chain is a data structure that allows the creation of a ledger of digital transactions that can be shared among a distributed network of computers. Cryptography allows each participant on the network to add to the ledger in a secure manner. These manipulations can be accomplished anonymously without using a central source of authority for the transaction. Block chain enables trusted anonymous data sharing between individuals and is the technology underlying the online currency, Bitcoin.
What are some advantages to block chain technology in health care research?
President Obama launched the Precision Medicine Initiative last January in order to ignite advances that will disrupt traditional models of research and clinical care. What exactly is Precision Medicine? The White House initiative defines precision medicine as an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in genes, environment and lifestyle, to target specific treatments and advance scientific research to keep people healthy.
Precision Medicine will require unprecedented collaboration between participants and researchers to drive innovation in medical research. At the heart of this collaboration is the secure and anonymous sharing of health data to empower patients to easily donate their data to researchers in a trusted and secure manner, and for researchers to easily and securely recruit people into their studies and return back valuable information to participants.
At the heart of this unmet need is blockchain, a technology that makes it possible for patients to easily share their data anonymously with researchers and to be anonymously contacted again in the future if their data indicates they would be candidates for other relevant research studies—all done in a secure fashion.
PATIENTS, CAREGIVERS, ADVOCATES
Patients, caregivers and advocates are vital stakeholders in Everyone Included™ events. As end-users of health care and research innovations, their input as co-creators at the inception of the creation process helps Everyone Included™ projects focus on problems that matter most in health care and solutions can be implemented successfully in the real world.
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS + RESEARCHERS
Health care providers and researchers are vital drivers of precision medicine research. Inception of research ideas, recruitment of participants, analysis and publication of research findings and translation to clinical practice are all aspects of research that health care providers and researchers can help accomplish.
DESIGNERS + DEVELOPERS
Designers and developers are key stakeholders who help create and implement health care solutions. Working as members of a diverse co-creation team, designers help establish clear problem statements, identify needs and co-create solutions. Developers provide key technical insights for creating actionable outcomes and solutions for the team.