Shivom, a decentralized platform creating the world’s largest genomic data hub, today has announced a new partnership with the non-profit organization, eMQT, utilizing research experts and technology to provide underserved communities in Africa with access to digital healthcare using blockchain technology. Shivom and eMQT aim to sequence a genomic data collection of approximately 1000 Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients, opening the door for further clinical trials and medical initiatives of African populations in relevant therapeutic areas.
The Shivom blockchain platform will be used to store and secure patient data gathered with the help of eMQT data collection platform and local access, in an innovative approach to secure data storage and sharing.
Implementing this project, Shivom and eMQT will be testing the feasibility of this technology, by using a specific set of SCD patients from Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. The proof-of-concept will start with 100 genomic data samples, and expand to 1000, which will be stored and secured on the Shivom platform, leveraging eMQT’s close ties to institutions and populations for patient access to collect the data.
This data will be available to the medical community to enable treatment decisions to be pursued in an effective and proactive manner and uncover new ways of stratifying patients based on genomic variants. These insights will help medical professionals choose appropriate treatments as well as modify already existing treatment plans. Genomic information related to SCD will allow patients to seek treatment advice and decisions faster and be better prepared when managing their condition long term.
In sub-Saharan Africa sickle cell disease affects up to 3% of births (representing millions of patients) and within the UK, 14,000 people are living with sickle disease as of 2016. Shivom is developing a solution that utilizes blockchain to store and sequence patients’ data that can be used to guide healthcare decisions and research. Blockchain allows the creation of a genomic data hub to be secured and strictly reserved for physicians accessing healthcare information. Controls mechanisms are in place that permit collaborations only with stakeholders who can enable data owners (patients) to directly benefit from data transactions. The hub is also secured for patients storing their DNA with minimal risk of breaches and controlled options to share it.
“We’re proud to work with an organisation such as eMQT, and we believe in the pursuit of this project . We have the ability to make a real impactful change to precision medicine and global healthcare as a whole. Using our innovative technology, we will collect and store genomic data that will be properly assessed and researched by authorized professionals, to streamline treatment and disease management to an underserved population.”
eMQT aims to increase the number of medical and clinical trials within underserved patient populations. In order to accelerate sustainable and high-quality clinical trials amongst African patients, eMQT offers an array of services that emphasize diversity representation and works to support the use of technology-enabled processes within global clinical trials that produce genomic data to the pharmaceutical industry.
“eMQT is excited to facilitate such a meaningful project alongside Shivom that aligns with our long-term vision for the future of technology combined with clinical research. As we move forward, our sights are set on helping a population that is currently underrepresented and experiencing a gap between their disease and proper medical care, which requires a thorough understanding of their needs through generating sustainable access to high-quality data for research and testing.”