DNA Block Chain Project Facilitates Research, Maintains Patient’s Privacy

Storing genetic records on a block chain could result in better drugs designed by the researchers, while still maintaining privacy rights of the patients.

Photo: Tim Brown/Flickr

Photo: Tim Brown/Flickr

DNA.Bits Israeli startup introduced its plans to store genetic and medical record data via block chain technology similar to that, which underpins the bitcoin network.

The novel concept will allow the researchers to have a full access to the genetic data, while maintaining digital DNA-wallet privacy and individual anonymity through strong private keys.

Dror Sam Brama, the CEO of DNA.Bits, is also a local leader in a global revolution that aims to provide medical patients with an unprecedented level of privacy, access and control over their personal medical records and genetic data – while simultaneously making the genetic data of the human race accessible to all.

Moreover, hospitals will still get access to monetize that patient data, and as a result healthcare systems will be better equipped, additionally pharmaceutical companies will be able to produce superior drugs.

Patient data would be stored on a so called ‘side chain’, and it would move onto the ‘main’ (e.g.: bitcoin) blockchain when it is needed.

Revenue for DNA.Bits would come from licensing of the platform to data hosts, or a percentage of the contracts that run on the platform. Moreover, the market-maker revenues from the connections between holders of medical data might exist, holders of genetic information, health organizations and consumers.

Mr. Brama sees its company’s potential customers as the holders of those medical records and anyone conducting research, including genetics companies, pharmaceutical organizations, academic institutions or government public health departments.

The global pharmaceutical market now accounts to $1 trillion. Furthermore, the market of specialized genetic medicine market grows every yea by not a small number of 18%.

Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry is enormously hungry for patient genetic and medical-record data. DNA.Bits is building a system to forward patient genetic and medical-record data to the researchers who need it, while maintaining the privacy rights of every patient.

Smadar Horowitz-Cederboim from The Jerusalem Center for Genetics and Society mentioned:

“The ability to cross reference large sets of dynamic medical and genetic records anonymously is a game changer in the fields of drug discovery, personalized medicine and genetic counseling.”

Dr. Efrat Levy-Lahad (the Shaare Zedek Genetics Institute in Israel, said that around 1,000 women die fom breast cancer annually. However, it would be possible to save at least 200 people each year said the experts at Jerusalem’s Department of Medical Genetics at Shaare Zedek Medical Center with the help of a nationwide DNA screening and analysis programme.

The methos can be appropriate for other diseases that are spread all over the globe, however the main minus is the question of privacy for the patients.

Israel is often considered as one of the most innovative country on the planet, and sure it will be a good place to start a DNA.Bits project. Moreover, Israel was among the first to use the block chain for non-currency focused activity. Israel has introduced the mastercoin protocol, the colored coins project and many others.

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