Blockchain in genome data management
A blockchain is a networked system that acts as a database in which data is stored and maintained within corporate and personalised systems within the healthcare sector. Blockchain uses digital technology that provides security for health data collected for the patient. Blockchain facilitates improved medical data sharing services whereby medical centres effectively share information regarding high-quality treatments, diagnosis, and assessments.
Blockchain technology allows health companies to share data networks without interfering with data integrity and security.
Furthermore, it ensures that medical data stored by health companies can be shared without interfering with data integrity and security.
It ensures that medical data are stored in a decentralised location to minimize transaction interruptions and delays as well as human errors. Blockchains has facilitated therapeutic research that deals with retrieving data from the genome. Blockchain in the healthcare industry has resolved the centralized problem whereby medical data is stored in different locations to prevent hackers from accessing all sensitive information within a single database.
SimplyVital Health is a startup company that uses blockchain technology to gathers different medical centres and hospitals into a single platform where they can freely share patient data to boost efficiency in treatment and diagnosis. Through this technology, the company developed ConnectingCare.
It is a product powered by blockchain that allows medical centres to reduce healthcare costs by centralizing all medical data for all their patients hence saving on costs incurred in communication, distribution and transportation. Chronicled is a startup firm that uses blockchain technology and Internet on Things (IoT) systems to streamline medical supply chains involving time and temperature sensitive medical products. It allows medical companies to be accountable and track the expiry dates of products such as vaccines.
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Use of blockchain in managing genome data
Genome sequencing is a scientific method of analyzing genomic information used in identifying any underlying inherited disorders and mutations. This sequence decodes and deciphers genetic data found in any plant and animal DNA. Genome data refers to any information related to the DNA of any organism used in bioinformatics for analyzing and processing genomic data.
Since a blockchain is a public secure digital ledger for data transactions it does not involve any third parties in the process of sharing data.
Genome data is managed and controlled by blockchain digital infrastructure because they offer effective transfer of resources between medical organizations.
Blockchains offer decentralised systems which ensure that genome data are shared between shared nodes and PCs through Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS).
Blockchain in genomics helps individuals discover their ancestral heritage through genetic testing. Companies such as Nebula and LunaDNA are rewarding people whose genome data is sold to research companies through digital currencies fueled by the blockchain technology. Therefore, its providing people with digital currency for trading and selling off their genomic data.
Blockchain has increased the security level of genomic data through the decentralization approach whereby an individual’s genetic data is securely stored. Through blockchain technology companies have emerged providing diverse services such as genomic research that creates awareness for those suffering from genetic disorders, mitochondrial diseases, and intellectual disabilities.
Blockchain protects patient digital identity through its cryptographic protocols and systems that safeguard vital information from being accessed and leaked to unauthorized individuals.
Blockchain technology has introduced cryptography which is a complex system for healthcare professionals to understand in relation to its application in genomics. The technology involved interferes with the integrity of the research process involved in genomics.
Since blockchain is an inter-networked system, it is bound to suffer interruptions because it exhibits ‘fragility’ during transactions of data between organizations. Therefore, its ineffective if it is used with a small number of users.
5 Startups using blockchain for genomics
It is a startup company that develops advanced eco-systems for genetics that provides a blockchain-based platform for researchers and professionals to conduct analysis, storage and examinations on various DNA related issues.
This is a startup company that provides clients with advanced blockchain security for safeguarding the integrity of genomic data stored in the company’s database systems. The company provides a DNA token for clients to serve as payments when using the company’s platform.
This is a startup company that provides a blockgene system where clients can implement genomic data irrespective of the format of stored data and technology. In this platform, patients have the privilege right to authorise professionals to use their genetic data for research and medical purposes.
This is a startup company that uses blockchain technology to decentralise genomic information and data of their users. Users get paid for their genetic data while buyers get paid for providing services to users. It is a platform that allows both sellers and buyers to mutually benefit.
It is a blockchain security startup company that monitors and protects genetic data of users using the platform. It provides security and query services for any user’s genetic data. Once a users’ genetic information is used for medical or scientific research they are paid using GENE tokens.
Department of molecular biology and genetics from the Cornell University are using high technology equipment to understand the underlying genetic problems affecting human and plant life. Some of the distinct research groups from the university include Cornell Center for Comparative and Population Genomics and the Cornell DNA replication, repair and recombination Group.
The American University in Washington DC through the Biology Faculty Research Interest is involved in genomics by exploring neuroscience, genetics and cell development biology. These research groups are offering genetic testing services through the use of diverse medical technology.
The integration of blockchain technology has revolutionised the healthcare system by providing secure networks for various medical centers and organizations to share data about their patients so as to assess and analyze treatment plans and recovery programs.
Blockchain has paved way for startup companies to cease its technology in creating highly secured medical networks for the transaction of genetic data without the need for third parties involved.
In fact, blockchain helped them for more in-depth research on genetic studies because physicians from across the world can easily share data through computerised systems and networks without the possibility of data distortion.
As research and university groups invest in studying genetics, the future seems bright because sooner or later, researchers will find a breakthrough upon which they will understand the cause of some hereditary diseases and disorders that have crippled family lineage for centuries.
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