IBM Watson Health has collaborated with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study the use of blockchain technology for secure exchange of healthcare data.
The firm has signed a research initiative with the FDA to examine the exchange of owner mediated data from multiple sources such as electronic medical records, clinical trials and genomic data, as well as health data from mobile devices, wearables and the Internet of Things.
Initially, the study will focus on oncology-related data. The partnership will study blockchain framework to support crucial use cases for information exchange across a wide variety of data types, including clinical trials and real world evidence data.
New insights, along with the data from healthcare ecosystem, are expected to result in new biomedical discoveries.
Patient data from wearables and connected devices will assist doctors and caregivers to better manage population health.
The collaboration will also study the large volumes of diverse data in biomedical and healthcare industries.
According to IBM, a secure owner-mediated data sharing ecosystem may help in the new discoveries and improved public health.
IBM Watson Health chief science officer and innovations vice president Shahram Ebadollahi said: “The healthcare industry is undergoing significant changes due to the vast amounts of disparate data being generated.
“Blockchain technology provides a highly secure, decentralized framework for data sharing that will accelerate innovation throughout the industry.”