MedChain, a start-up building globally compliant healthcare blockchain and decentralized applications (dApps) for electronic medical records (EMRs), has announced it is teaming up with Cognition Foundry to capitalise on the data protection and high performance of IBM LinuxONE, the enterprise Linux server built on mainframe technology. IBM designed this server, when coupled with blockchain, in ways which will enhance the type of MedChain solutions which address healthcare challenges.
“Incorporating Cognition Foundry’s IBM LinuxONE environment into the MedChain architecture, allows a fantastic opportunity to exponentially grow Phase II of our network on top of the Phase I work of storing and managing EMR. Phase II is the data-intensive AI and deep learning involved with analyzing all that data. Building on top of the existing MedChain permission structure, only the patient can authorize their data to be used in research.
“Over the years, this opt-in process will yield petabytes of full lifetimes of contiguous data. The effect of having each patient’s data accessible by all care providers means new discoveries can be made based on the ‘holistic’ view of each and every procedure or medication taken,” said Steve Wishstar, CTO of MedChain.
The Medchain vision
Since last year, MedChain has offered patients:
- control of their own health information
- the ability to delegate access to providers (like doctors and hospitals).
This is possible through use of blockchain and distributed storage solutions for EMR (electronic medical records) and electronic protected health information (ePHI).
The MedChain Network is an extensible, layered architecture and protocol system. Governed and secured by multiple blockchains that utilise a multi-crypto-token framework, the network builds upon the Hyperledger Fabric permissioned blockchain. Hosted by the Linux Foundation and built to run on LinuxONE, this is an open source project. The MedChain solution represents a common data-layer. This enables existing EMR companies to:
- build compliant healthcare dApps
- empower clients – by providing unprecedented levels of control and insight into their own information.
Cognition Foundry is a service provider which enables the imgainative to apply “extreme computing power for the good of society”. The Cognition Factory objective is “democratize access to enterprise IT”.
It will provide its LinuxONE platform to MedChain developers. They can then create a blockchain and analytics solution which can scale to support millions of transactions. The significance is that such capabilities have previously only been available to corporations and government agencies.
“As a service provider, IBM LinuxONE allows us to quickly set up a complete IT infrastructure capable of supporting millions of transactions for clients like MedChain,” said Ron Argent, CEO of Cognition Foundry.
“LinuxONE supports pervasive encryption of data and workload isolation, enabling advanced protection against external and internal threats for sensitive data and applications.”
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
Working together, Cognition Foundry and MedChain – underpinned by IBM LinuxONE – will help patients control their data and help researchers discover new treatments and cures. In the envisaged environment, medical consumers will ‘possess, apply and authorise’ access to their own health information, supported by an infrastructure with LinuxONE compute power.
Prima facie this is not an unusual destination. There are many organisations (for example Trusted Health or Iryo) seeking to apply blockchain to medical issues. This is one where the importance of performance -as well as patient security – is at the forefront.