Blockchain and healthcare updates
Thank you to Mitch Parker for the pointer to this article! This builds on the previous article from HIMSS about blockchain and the forthcoming Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). The authors highlight a few ways that blockchains can support TEFCA:
Track access management of medical records across health entities in the continuum of care
Facilitate efficient and transparent consent management across multiple participants
Provide audit trails with strong assurances
In general the authors focus on areas where there is a need for trust and how blockchains can be used to facilitate that trust.
EVENT: Blockchain and Digital Transformation in Health 2020 (February 26th in Austin, Texas)
If you’re looking to hear from industry practitioners and researchers then this blockchain and healthcare event is a great fit. A number of my colleagues and friends in the space will be speakers, and I'd encourage you to check it out.
What I’m reading this weekend
Dfinity is a next generation blockchain that raised ~$100m in funded in 2018 to build out what they dub the “Internet Computer,” a sort of decentralized cloud that theoretically could support applications with the same scale as centralized clouds do. They have an impressive team but to date have released relatively little since raising a boatload of money.
In Davos this past week they released the “bronze edition” of their platform and are expecting a full release later this year. As part of this release they also demonstrated how an “open” LinkedIn could be recreated on Dfinity. This is cool but strikes me as a bit of an odd choice for a demo (why not choose a more contentious social media platform?). I’m looking forward to seeing their tech when it’s released later this year.
Digix had a very early ICO in 2016, raising some ~450,000 Ether worth ~$7m at the time. Long story short the Digix token ended up doing very poorly and the market cap of that token ended up being worth less than the Ether the Digix organization held in their treasury. The community voted to return these funds to Digix token holders, entitling each token holder to some portion of the treasury. As far as I know this was a first of it’s kind.
For some of the teams that raised huge amounts of money and now have suffering tokens this is one option. But executing this is tricky, as token holders typically don’t have any rights, and thus can’t force projects to liquidate, and returning capital in this way is a legal grey area.
One of the themes I highlighted in my 2019 review was the geopolitical conflict around digital currencies. Japan may be entering the fray with its own digital currency soon. On that note, the Bank of International Settlements, found in a recent survey of central banks that 80% of central banks are doing work with digital currencies with 10% of them thinking it was likely they would issue a digital currency in the short term.
A great and comprehensive review of everything that is going on in the public Ethereum network. Lots of interesting financial and technical work going on. Wish that other communities put together these reviews.
Also in the news: Clearview AI will find your face in their database of 3bn images scrapped from the web.
John Halamka describes the various “containers” that make up the Mayo Clinic Platform, I was particularly interested in the third container (bolding mine):
The third container is for running innovative applications brought to Mayo by partners offering unique analytics on the de-identified data. No data leaves this container, the applications are brought into it. A joint tenancy model enables the container to be run by Mayo Clinic but others to be given limited, audited use of the container to run their applications. The only thing that ever exits the container are data insights or knowledge. For example, if nference is asked a question about drug discovery, its machine learning/natural language processing software in the container can pose the question. The answer is shared but not the data used to generate the answer.
One question I have is whether Mayo will be using this model with all of their external parties, in particular Google, or whether this is limited to only parties working with the Mayo Clinic Platform.
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