IBM Announces Joint Blockchain Collaboration Initiative With U.S. Federal Drug Administration
IBM Watson Health has signed a research initiative with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aimed at defining a secure, efficient and scalable exchange of health data using blockchain technology.
IBM and the FDA will explore the exchange of owner mediated data from several sources, such as Electronic Medical Records, clinical trials, genomic data, and health data from mobile devices, wearables and the “Internet of Things.” The initial focus will be on oncology-related data.
Transformative healthcare solutions are possible when healthcare researchers and providers have access to a 360-degree view of patient data. Today, patients have little access to their health data and cannot easily share with researchers or providers.
Giving patients the opportunity to share their data securely, for research purposes or across their healthcare providers, creates opportunities for major advancements in healthcare. Blockchain technology, which enables organizations to work together with more trust, is designed to help make this a reality.
By keeping an audit trail of all transactions on an unalterable distributed ledger, blockchain technology establishes accountability and transparency in the data exchange process. In the past, large scale sharing of health data has been limited by concerns of data security and breaches of patient privacy during the data exchange process.
IBM and the FDA will explore how a blockchain framework can
potentially provide benefits to public health by supporting important use cases for information exchange across a wide variety of data types, including clinical trials and “real world” evidence data.
New insights combining data across the healthcare ecosystem can potentially lead to new biomedical discoveries. Patient data from wearables and connected devices for example, can help doctors and caregivers better manage population health.
The collaboration will also address new ways to leverage the large volumes of diverse data in today’s biomedical and healthcare industries. A secure owner-mediated data sharing ecosystem could potentially hold the promise of new discoveries and improved public health.
The initiative with the FDA is a two-year agreement. IBM Watson Health and the FDA plan to share initial research findings in 2017.
You can learn more about IBM Blockchain capabilities here.