Decentralized DNA Storage Mechanism for Healthcare

Harnessing Blockchain Technology to Lay the Foundation for Tomorrow’s DNA Ecosystem.

The flexibility of blockchain infrastructures has captivated innovators, entrepreneurs and developers across a number of verticals (more so than ever in the past year). Many are beginning to truly appreciate the properties that make distributed ledger technologies so valuable, notably where data security is concerned.

Blockchains are perhaps best described, in simple terms, as append-only databases that are controlled by a consensus mechanism made up of numerous participants (without a hierarchy or centralized overseer). Compared to a traditional database, this means that there is no central point of failure for an attacker to target. The participants in question will each maintain a copy of this ledger, synchronizing it with that of their peers when a ‘block’ (chunk of data) is added to the network.

This may not seem particularly exciting at first glance, but it is, in fact, a very powerful tool — each block added to the ledger is cryptographically linked to the prior one, meaning that any attempt to alter the information will be automatically rejected by the rest of the participants. As such, blockchains are often touted as being immutable and tamper-proof.

The security of such networks stems from this structure, the topology at the peer-to-peer level and the use of robust cryptography (private/public keypairs) to ensure that only the individual uploading data can decrypt it or demonstrate ownership.

Towards Medical Applications

Home genetic testing has been garnering a lot of attention from consumers recently as services like Ancestry or 23AndMe have cropped up to provide insights into the health of the user — at the cost, of course, of the sharing of genomic data.

It’s hard to imagine a source of data more personal to an individual than their genetic information. It stands to reason that it’s crucial that said data is kept both secure and private — easier said than done in an age of digitization of information, home DNA testing kits and rampant data breaches.

Most companies go to lengths to anonymized your data before sharing it, and to keep it secure. But sharing this type of sensitive personal information comes with an inherent risk. Consumer genetic testing firms are not typically bound by HIPAA, which means the flow of personal information is completely unregulated. And the more places data flows, the more chances there are for it to leak.

Blockchain technology may initially seem ideally suited to these ends, though it’s just a partial solution — one of the trade-offs of an immutable distributed ledger is that its throughput is somewhat lacking (remember that every participant must record every interaction), and storing even small amounts of data is an expensive and time-consuming task.

Evidently, in designing a platform for mass adoption, a sort of hybridized approach is best. Leveraging the features of blockchain technology and combining it with more scalable storage mediums, vastly superior alternatives to the existing ‘data silo’ phenomenon can be built. With such alternatives, secure repositories of data that are controlled entirely by the individual are anchored in the blockchain, which provides an unalterable record of the interactions occurring across the network.

True Self-Sovereignty

Third-party custodians and data security are not concepts that go hand-in-hand. We’ve seen the catastrophic consequences that breaches like that of Equifax and Facebook can have on the lives of their victims. It’s not something that can be allowed to continue in transitioning masses of genetic information into the digital realm. DNA is not as easily changed as a username/password.

With a tech stack built on top of a blockchain, we can reverse some of the damaging patterns that have emerged as a result of a trust-heavy data ecosystem, putting individuals wholly back in control of information that belongs to them in the first place. Though the concept of an entirely ‘self-sovereign identity’ has existed for a couple of decades now, we’re finally beginning to perfect the technologies that would make truly private and secure interactions in the digital space possible.

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World Sprint Champion Lion Martinez Joins Shivom Innovation Council

The M35 100-metre world sprint champion Lion Martinez joined Shivom Innovation Council (SIC) on February 1, 2019. Shivom is a biotechnology data and analysis company optimizing the way DNA is shared, secured and analysed. It leverages innovative technologies such as blockchain and machine-learning algorithms to democratize genomics.

Lion joining SIC marks the very first steps of Shivom into building a sport, athletics and well being initiative. The sports initiative will use state-of-the-art genomics and AI algorithms to develop science-based programs to make people fitter and perform on a higher level. The program seeks to identify from genetic bases as to what makes an athlete an, in turn, this data into meaningful insight for sports and fitness individuals who are interested in trying innovative and evidence-based training programs to improve their efficiencies. With his experience in athletics, Lion will play a key role in strategizing on the same.

SIC is an internal think tank at Shivom which supports and guides the senior management on the latest technologies, industry trends and strategies. It includes expert scientists, groundbreaking healthcare solution-providers, cyber security pioneers and genomics researchers. The council includes the likes of Taavi Roivas, former prime minister of Estonia and Antanas Guoga, a Lithuanian representative at the European Parliament. With Lion coming onboard, Shivom plans to foray into sports and well being soon.

Lion, who in his own words “likes cooking, gaming and toast”, has 20 years of experience in marketing, and brand and product management. He professional endeavours include working in various capacities with global companies such as Electronic Arts, Disney, Warner Brothers, Asus and Sony, among several others. Lion is presently the Global Product Manager of e-sport software company Wasder AB.

A former national and European-level athlete, Lion has numerous national gold medals (in 100-metre sprint) in his kitty. He was also the youngest-ever Swedish to have participated in the 2002 European Championships in Munich. Lion holds a 100-metre world championship gold medal (2016) and has numerous records and medals (in 60, 100 and 200-metre sprints) to his credit. Additionally, he has been involved in coaching, public speaking and widespread health issues and initiatives over the past 20 years, engaging with children, youth, adults and senior citizens alike. We believe he will become the torchbearer of the planned sports initiatives at Shivom.

About Shivom
Shivom is a biotechnology data and analysis company optimizing the way DNA is shared, secured and analysed. By utilizing innovative technologies such as blockchain and machine-learning algorithms, we are able to democratize genomics. Doing so, we empower data-owners, researchers and pharmaceutical companies with the ability to securely share, store and analyse DNA data quickly, efficiently and at any scale. For further information, please visit: https://www.shivom.io/

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