As time goes by, blockchain technology is transforming one industry after another. Now the startup project Skychain Global is developing its own crypto currency called Skychain Global Coin (SGC) with a view to create an ecosystem that will enable multiple participants to use and monetize healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) systems as well as healthcare big data necessary for AI training.
In that regard, Skychain is very similar to another blockchain project, IOTA – both are aimed at solving their specific problems, and blockchain technologies come most handy. IOTA is creating a unified ecosystem with data marketplace for zillions of “smart things,” Skychain, in its turn, is bringing together key parties of the digital healthcare industry. Let’s see how exactly Skychain is going to dramatically cut costs and improve effectiveness in that industry.
One of the core options offered by Skychain is artificial intelligence systems developed by independent AI labs. Indeed, any commercial AI system for the healthcare industry must be “trained” on massive amounts of data, also known as “big data” to detect specific medical conditions very accurately.
So the second key party in the Skychain ecosystem is a healthcare data provider. The Skychain Data Market is to be the place where data providers will be offering their datasets to AI developers as kind of a service for AI training. Skychain guarantees that data providers will get their commission for each AI system trained on their data.
Skychain will use “smart contracts” (self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement written directly into the code) to ensure that the implementation of any trained AI system is hidden and protected from everyone, and that each time a consumer (a doctor or a patient) uses an AI system, its developer and the data providers will be automatically rewarded.
By adopting that approach, Skychain will reduce healthcare AI training costs by a factor of 100, because currently 95–99 percent of any healthcare AI budget is spent on buying or licensing data for AI training.
In such a way, the startup is expected to dramatically reduce the costs of healthcare AI development and training making many more AI systems for medical diagnostics available for doctors and patients. The company will eventually create an ecosystem able to transcend any closed, proprietary products and any other open AI marketplaces, because none of the existing AI marketplaces can provide easy access to healthcare big data.
Let’s imagine what could happen after the Skychain project develops and evolves for 10 years: every medical measuring or diagnostic device, such as an X-ray machine, could automatically upload its results to the blockchain-based global healthcare system, which would also allow the health facility to earn extra money. Patients would get most preliminary diagnoses without visiting a doctor’s office. The patients would be automatically scanned (for example, by an ultrasound scanner) and nearly instantly get a highly accurate diagnosis made by an AI system. As a result, medical diagnostics costs could be dramatically reduced, and tens of millions of lives could be saved worldwide thanks to the affordable early diagnostics.
Moreover, as massive amounts of big data will be accumulated in the unified data marketplace, doctors will be able to assess the effectiveness of treatment with different medicines and automatically generate the most appropriate treatment regimen.
But won’t the Skychain project replace the doctors? No, at least not today. So far, the developers are only going to enable the development of smart tools that could help many doctors work more effectively and do fewer errors. However, the team believes that in five years diagnostic AI systems will be used in about 50 percent of all doctor’s office visits, and doctors would only need to confirm the results produced by the AI systems and click “OK”.
Skychain team also believes that in 10–15 years AI systems will do the bulk of the doctors’ work, performing surgical operations, diagnosing medical conditions, prescribing and monitoring medical treatment, etc. Moreover, they are expected to predict diseases years before the onset of symptoms, simultaneously making the paramedics’ work much more efficient. Skychain will be the keystone in that ecosystem.
The project is pre-saling its tokens from December 18, 2017 to January 7, 2018. Thus far, as minimum viable product (MVP) is being developed, and preparations for the ICO are underway, Skychain tokens are offered at a 50 percent discount.