Two leading healthcare tech firms announced it will launch a research field of life data economics powered by the blockchain technology, according to a press release published on May 15.
Nebula Genomics, a U.S.-based company founded by George Church is working on building ” a marketplace for genomic and clinical data” is partnering with Longenesis, a Hong-Kong-based company composed of Insilico Medicine and the Bitfury Group that is working on “applying deep learning and blockchain technologies to make a platform for the exchange of healthcare data.”
The co-founder of Nebula Genomics and professor at both Harvard and MIT, Dr. George Church mentioned,
“By allowing individuals and large data providers such as biobanks to maintain ownership of their genomic data on our platform and profit from it, Nebula Genomics seeks to incentivize generation of genomic data. In doing so, we will gather the data on a single network where it can be conveniently and securely accessed by researchers. In other words, we will make a marketplace that will create an equitable and efficient economy for genomic data. Longenesis has built a similar platform that instead focuses on longitudinal health data, so our platforms complement one another very well.”
The economy of life data is presently inefficient because “acquiring genomic data is a slow and costly process, because researchers at pharma and biotech companies have to manually inquire about data availability, negotiate prices, sign contracts and make payments.”
To solve this problem, the partnership “will use smart contracts to automate data acquisition and make it several orders of magnitude faster,” expressed the CSO and co-founder of Nebula Genomics, Dennis Grishin.
It is not an easy task to determine the true value of the data because life data is much more useful when it is analyzed in big quantities. Sometimes, it is almost impossible to determine its true value since it has to be analyzed with another category of data.
Alex Zhavoronkov, the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine and CSO of Longenesis said,
“In the past, the value of human personal data was primarily defined by the profit potential from sales of goods and services. But with the advances in artificial intelligence and biotechnology we are moving into the new era where the various types of data collected over the lifetime can yield unprecedented healthcare benefits for the individual and for the economy. We need the new pricing and valuation models to assess the time-, timing-, relationship-, resolution- and combination-value of life data in the context of health and longevity.”
This project “seek to create platforms that utilize blockchain technology to establish a more efficient and equitable economy for the exchange of life data” to determine the true value of the data. The group will establish two new study fields: microdataeconomics and macrodataeconomics.