South Korea to invest in a blockchain-based platform to secure medical data

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Korea selects blockchain startup SendSquare to create a blockchain platform to host connected public and private chains

The South Korean Government are to develop a blockchain-based data registry platform to help analyse, anonymise, and store clinical data for diabetes. According to the announcement by Sendsquare, the Korean Government has selected the blockchain startup to develop a proof-of-concept project that will enable a data registry platform that uses blockchain.

The National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) has undertaken the initiative to improve the credibility of medical data in the country and solve issues related to data storage.

NIPA has decided to invest about three million dollars throughout 2020 to blockchain-based projects, based on various factors including practicality, expected effect and performance. Sendsquare’s data collection tool for clinical trials was selected as the outstanding project of the year during a similar initiative last year.

The country, with over 3.6 million people suffering from diabetes, has witnessed a growing need for securing personal medical data while still ensuring that medical researchers are provided with credible data: “Even though medical data research is essential in the field, it is not active enough because of insufficient data dissemination and some unreliable data,” the announcement explained.

Sendsquare’s platform will feature pofiling, extraction, visualisation and the documentation of data. This will not only help to improve efficiently, but will also enhance the insight gained from data sets. The blockchain startup is teaming with clinical experts and practitioners from Seoul’s KyungHee University Medical Centre to begin work on analysing nine years’ worth of clinical data on diabetes.

“Storing and collaborating work across a large volume of data using centralised services has proven unwieldy and subject to issues of data loss, duplication and manipulation,” KyungHee Medical Center’s Professor Suk Chon stated.

Sendsquare’s blockchain “can help us to solve data storage problems, and in the long term help diabetes sufferers nationally,” the professor added.

The clinical data blockchain will consist of a private chain and a connected public chain. The private chain will have confidential data and thus, access to the private chain will be restricted to protect data-security and ensure credibility. Through pseudonymisation, organisation, and cleansing of data, records of the private chain will be updated periodically. The public chain will enable the tracking of data alteration to ensure transparency and prevent data tampering.

The blockchain startup has further claimed that the medical industry can cut costs up to four million dollars by using Sendsquare’s RWD (Real World Data)-based Clinical Research Data Registry Platform.b

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