Researchers have shown how two powerful technologies – blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) – can be used together to empower patients to gain more control over their own critical data including profiting from their data as well as giving them access to scientific data that could prove them useful later in life.
The new paper also puts forward a sort of roadmap on how decentralized, blockchain-based patient data ecosystem can enable the development of more comprehensive clinical databases, which would serve to galvanize progress in drug discovery, biomarker development, and preventative healthcare.
Patients currently have little incentive to contribute to such databases, resulting in a dearth of such databases for use in the life sciences community and industry, in comparison to what might be if patients had more incentive to contribute to such databases. By providing a system to incentivize patients by providing them with tangible compensation for the collection and use of their data, blockchain-based patient data management systems could serve to accelerate progress in biomedicine in general by increasing the quality and comprehensiveness of clinical databases for use by biomedical researchers, institutions and companies alike.
The paper also introduces a roadmap to how blockchain-enabled patient data ecosystems could galvanize progress in the life sciences sector in general. Secure, transparent and decentralized data marketplaces could serve to create a data-driven marketplace rather than a marketplace operating in an environment of comparative data scarcity, while simultaneously alleviating certain challenges faced by regulators and policymakers, including how to ethically use patient data for drug discovery and biomarker development.
Blockchain technologies are rapidly decentralizing and disrupting more fields and industries with each passing day. The disruptive potential of crypto economy and blockchain technologies has become apparent to many over the past year, and the time for its decentralizing potential to impact the life sciences space is upon us.