Blockchain Platform To Reward Users For Donating Their Genomic Data For Research

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A company aims to create the world’s largest genomic data hub. Participants who choose to have their genome sequenced will control who accesses the information, and will be able to share it with scientists for financial incentive.

A new Blockchain project Shivom is aiming to provide a platform where individuals can ‘donate’ their genomic data for use by researchers, securely store and control who accesses the information, and earn rewards as a result.

The human genome has been the subject of intense scientific study for decades. Since it was first fully sequenced in 2003, numerous companies have begun trialling ‘personalized medicine’ tests that could mean medicines tailored to each individual’s needs. Access to genomic data is highly sought after by research scientists in order to further experiment with customised medicines.

In their executive summary, Shivom states that their objective is to create the world’s largest genomic data hub. Every participant who chooses to have their genome sequenced and stored will control who accesses it, and will also have the opportunity to share it with scientists for financial incentives. The sale of genomic testing kits to donors will form part of Shivom’s revenue plan. Members of the Shivom ecosystem will have access to ‘an open marketplace for healthcare providers to add their apps and services, alongside genomic data analytics and personalised medicine.’ There is tight Blockchain security around the data which is sold to third parties (who must have a paired private key to access the data), with donors controlling access to their information even after it has been sold. As a result, they can benefit from personalized health and wellbeing information from the resulting research, in addition to their financial remuneration. For example, a participants’ risk of disease can be assessed and predicted, as well as preventative measures in seemingly healthy patients.

The results of this ecosystem will potentially forward genomic medicine research in multiple ways. For example, the data could be used in clinical trials, or for more general drug research and development. Shivom are working to create a worldwide network of ‘genomic counsellors’ and associated laboratories for one fully integrated service system. The aim is to also launch a not-for-profit research and development organization connecting multiple healthcare stakeholders, including patient, clinics, research centres and governments.

The more genomic data that is available worldwide to researchers, the faster new drugs can be developed to efficiently target and treat diseases, without wasting resources. With this data  scientists will be able to better predict how patient subgroups will respond to certain treatments, meaning they waste less time and finances on clinical trials.

The Shivom ecosystem will be fuelled by OmiX tokens. These will allow holders to access the benefits previously mentioned: rewards for donating data, accessing genome database, acquiring sequencing kits. The private sale of OmiX tokens is now live and the pre-sale will be announced shortly, Shivom says. The minimum token investment will be 100 Ethereum (ETH).

Shivom’s CEO and co-founder is Dr Alex Schumacher who has over 20 years of experience in leading data research. He is also a faculty member of the Blockchain Research Institute. COO and co-founder Gourish Singla has described what sets Shivom apart from their rivals:

“We are unique from our competitors across the genomics and the Blockchain healthcare space due to our profound business and data privacy model. Shivom’s comprehensive business model leverages game theory and network effects to establish a fully integrated healthcare service system with long-term sustainability and the possibility for users to monetize their data, by charging for usage”

In terms of partnerships, Shivom recently secured backing from DeHedge, a risk-hedging platform for cryptocurrency investors who want protection for their money staked in token offerings and cryptocurrencies. Shivom has also partnered with Genetic Technologies, a NASDAQ listed molecular diagnostics company. Finally, Shivom recently released an announcement about their work with the Indian State Government of Andhra Pradesh, a collaboration that allows Shivom access to up to 60 mln people in the state, as well as the initiation of a pilot project in one of the largest cancer facilities in the country.   

By Q2 2018 Shivom aim to have release of their proof-of-concept product and establish their ‘Shivom Foundation.’ Q3 aims to see partnerships with major data analytic and pharma companies. The long term goal hopes to see the launch of the Shivom AI/deep learning platform by 2019.

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Author: Katharine Sharpe

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