In March this year, Nokia announced that Equideum Health (Equideum), a US-based healthcare software solutions provider, had chosen Nokia Data Marketplace to power its blockchain-based Equideum Exchange. The exchange enables individuals and businesses to share and monetize health data, while preserving rights and ownership of that data. In an interview, Heather Leigh Flannery, Founder and Managing Director of Equideum Health and Friedrich Trawoeger, SVP – Cloud and Cognitive Services at Nokia, spoke to The Fast Mode about the partnership and what it means for the healthcare industry. health. The discussion revolves around the economics of health data, the impact of COVID-19, and how emerging technologies and computing models, including blockchain, AI/ML and SaaS, are driving the Equity and Global Health Outcomes.
Rao: In the case of healthcare, how does Equideum Exchange enable individuals to monetize their healthcare data and why?
Founder and CEO, Equideum Health
Heating: Every breath we take, every heartbeat, our very existence in this new technological society contributes to more data about us. This data is arguably one of the most valuable asset classes in the human economy – one that can be quantified and monetized in its own right.
At the center of all the information we see being generated is the data subject, i.e. the person about whom this information revolves. At Equideum, we envision a future where the data subject not only has the rights to this information, but is also fully empowered to participate in its economy, estimated at approximately $42-50 billion. Currently, none of these flows are traceable back to the data subject, with most individuals having absolutely no idea of the transactions and associated ecosystems, despite being involved in consent and permission. The idea of Equideum Exchange is therefore to bridge this gap and create a transparent ecosystem that offers a fair result for all participants. At the same time, we aspire to leverage this new flow of capital and this new source of liquidity in the form of data to address health challenges and meet the long-standing unmet needs of the global health sector.
Rao: What does this mean for the healthcare industry, for example for a use case such as privacy-preserving clinical trial matching?
Heating: The clinical trial life cycle involves dozens of stages, where data is obtained by pharmaceutical companies to support a wide range of processes, from study design and trial to site selection and then finally to the recruitment of participants. However, this can be very difficult due to the presence of imperfect information. Patients who wish to be informed when they meet an inclusion or exclusion criterion are very rarely informed of the trials that could be offered to them. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies continue to face a severe shortage of trial participants, despite substantial investments being made in research sites.
This information failure is what drove our efforts into the decentralized trials space, an area led by Equideum through its role as a founding member of the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance (DTRA), where it highlights share a number of emerging technologies. to remove barriers to performing high quality clinical research. In fact, we go beyond data matching to address other common issues, including bioethics compliance and cybersecurity, given the importance of preserving the privacy, agency and dignity of research topics in large-scale deployments. This is how confidentiality-preserving clinical trial matching becomes the first transaction type to be available through the Equideum Exchange.
Rao: How do blockchain solutions enable individuals to share and monetize their data, securely and efficiently?
Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Services, Nokia
Frederic: While data exchanges have been around for some time, there has been little progress in realizing a data economy where such exchanges lead to a successful transfer of value between participating individuals and businesses. The introduction of blockchain, which is basically a technology for recording transactions and tracking assets, has since been a game changer as it deals with data security compliance and integrity, the two biggest hurdles to this progress. Blockchain solutions make data transactions traceable and secure, not only for healthcare, but in all sectors where such data exchange takes place. NDM, which includes both the authorized private blockchain and an interface to the public blockchain through an abstraction layer, leverages the distributed nature of the technology to provide data security, traceability, and integrity. This goes a long way in providing greater assurance to individuals and businesses and increasing participant motivation to monetize their data.
Rao: How does NDM meet the needs of businesses and individuals for a secure and reliable data sharing platform? What is driving the demand for such platforms?
Frederic: NDM primarily addresses the need to securely exchange and monetize data. The need for this is evident from some of the observations we can make around us, where despite generating large amounts of data, individuals are rarely interested in sharing and monetizing it due to issues related to trust and to safety. NDM builds on this need by providing a secure and trusted channel to which individuals can entrust their data transactions.
Nokia data market
More importantly, NDM addresses the fragmentation of the industry in terms of health data exchange and monetization. In this case, the current pandemic has acted as a catalyst by exposing serious flaws in the current system where multiple fragmented data silos across the globe have made data alignment virtually impossible for even the most demanding tasks. simple ones such as vaccination passwords. As an integrated platform that works with an unlimited number of sources and types of data, NDM removes this fragmentation not only by globalizing the exchange and monetization of health data, but by improving trust and reliability between participants by integrating consent, privacy and rights management that are executed through its smart contracts.
Rao: Why might the SaaS model be the preferred approach to providing a data sharing platform for a marketplace such as Equideum Exchange?
Frederic: SaaS offers some of the essentials for this market, namely platform responsiveness and scalability. SaaS allows customers to introduce changes and upgrades almost instantly and expand their operations without having to create their own local instances or replicate existing ones. Whether it is a public cloud or a private cloud, the SaaS model allows customers to access the latest versions of technologies available in the cloud space. This is crucial to ensure service availability and time to market, two attributes that can greatly improve Equideum Exchange’s offerings and customer experience.
Rao: How does NDM, including its SaaS deployment model, help Equideum achieve its vision and accelerate the deployment of Equideum Exchange?
Heating: The SaaS model adds to our existing deep relationships in the cloud space, which includes partnerships with Microsoft Azure and Intel Confidential Computing. With NDM, we are able to take this to the next level, capitalizing on the flexibility offered by NDM in terms of different deployment options, destination cloud service providers and compute stacks. By leveraging Nokia’s highly developed capabilities, features and functions, we can focus on creating net new capabilities unique to the healthcare and life sciences industry.
Another enabler brought by NDM is AI-based intelligence. As an advanced application, NDM uses AI-based methods, including AI modeling and machine learning, to match data and speed up the execution of data pipelines. Our partnership with Nokia allows us to harness these capabilities and accelerate our vision of a data economy where we could unlock the value hidden in data silos across the world, especially when it comes to urgent such as cures for chronic/rare diseases and health. disparities.
Rao: Technologically, how are advances in Big Data and AI improving the capabilities of data-sharing platforms and the services they enable?
Frederic: NDM’s overall approach, design and architecture, including the use of advanced technologies such as AI/ML, build on Nokia’s longstanding expertise and experience in its core business. business, namely the telecommunications sector. Nokia’s mature and highly developed data capabilities have been used by CSPs to translate data from billions of users and end devices into valuable insights used to manage network performance and optimize their networks. By leveraging NDM, Equideum gains immediate access to these features, enabling it to manage millions of data points and gain the insights it needs to power its use cases.
Rao: Besides healthcare, what other industries and use cases can also leverage NDM for data sharing and monetization?
Transport, logistics, energy and utilities as well as the public sector are some of the sectors that stand to benefit immensely from access to NDM. For example, our partnership with a key player in the maritime industry, where precision and logistics are key, is expected to deliver savings of up to 30% across all phases of the supply chain, including shipping, entry/exit and relations with agencies. Another example will be the sports industry where we have collaborated with a major football sports company to enable thousands of players through NDM to share personal sports and health data and monetize it individually or via a sponsor. Ultimately, our approach is to focus on areas where we can make a difference. Health care, in this context, presents a great opportunity by enabling us to empower individuals and foster the creation of a better health care system.