Big Data to Drive Healthcare 3.0By Alfonso Núñez | Thu, 02/17/2022 - 18:22
As the healthcare industry continues realizing the value of big data, the question of access and storage becomes a pressing issue. During Mexico Health Summit 2022, Andrew Ahachinsky, President and CEO, Bobbinet LatAm, explained what the company is doing to drive big data efforts forward in healthcare through innovation, Web 3.0 and blockchain, as well as why the region presents unique opportunities.
Under a Health 2.0 application centric approach, multiple apps request patients’ data as each manages it for its own monitoring purpose. This outdated and disconnected model discourages patient participation. A switch to 3.0 would give patients an increased role in the collection, distribution and storage of their own data, said Ahachinsky. To do so, Bobbinet envisions a patient subscription system that provides transparency over where patient data is going and how it helps others. This can then result in a situation where not only patients benefit but also pharmaceutical companies create better products and health services maximize their accessibility to data, potentially sharing information regarding rare diseases that might be of greater value to pharma companies to look at.
At its core, Bobbinet provides a way for blockchain to safely decentralize healthcare, consumer and patient data, while giving the patient better control and understanding of where their data is going and how it is used, said Ahachinsky. It even allows them to share data with third parties and organizations. Using anonymous records, patients can keep all their healthcare and data materials in one place, allowing the Latin American healthcare system to maximize development, access and participation, he added. Latin America is an ideal market for this technology as it has had 25 percent of global clinical trials and annually spends US$50 billion in pharmaceuticals annually.
North American and EU governments have cracked down on these efforts and prohibited their development, so Latin America could become the next largest opportunity market for this type of development, particularly as 30 percent of the population does not have access to health services because of economic reasons. Mexico in particular has a large discrepancy between its public and private health sectors and its urban-centered health facilities leave many in rural areas without access.
The data accumulated by these efforts will be large and have great quality, said Ahachinsky. It will allow patients and consumers to become data stakeholders with the benefits this carries, as 60 percent of generated data comes from patients (30 percent is genomic and 10 percent is clinical).
Another possible solution to increase patient data sharing could come through the use of non-fungible tokens (NFT), said Ahachinsky. This proposal would add patient data into the blockchain through smart contracts to provide further control, security and management access, he said. Under this proposed model, patients could earn money by providing it to third parties with a clear understanding of who owns and who uses the data, said Ahachinsky.
The healthcare Metaverse could also bring potential solutions by decentralizing health profiles and providing anonymity and live access to a digital extension in the coming metaverse where digital human as a service may soon take place, said Ahachinsky. Particularly as by 2026, the average person is expected to spend at least one hour within the Metaverse, he added.
The company is also looking at enabling patient permissions within existing health education research models already used in hospitals to create a more patient centric approach within existing environments. These efforts look to improve outcomes in terms of cost savings, optimizing the doctor’s work and empowering patients within the medical data revolution as the incorporation of technological advancements continues becoming a social determinant of health.