SiA #2: Siddhi Trivedi, Proof.Work
Proof.Work, is a platform that uses Blockchain to store medical data in a decentralized electronic record. Siddhi is the Winner Disruptor in Tech: 2017 Digital Women India, Business Woman of Year Finalist 2017: British Indian Awards UK, Disruptor in Business Finalist 2017 WLA Awards UK and is also the Director at TEDxLeicester. She is based out of London and we were fortunate enough to interact with her through call for this interview.
1. How did the main motivation behind Proof.Work evolve?
My background is in Health Innovations - I believe Proof.Work is an innovation for healthcare. One of the areas that has really been important in my personal life is that, I have elderly family members who are constantly on medication. The older a person gets, the more prone they are to health issues and because of that there are too many medications to follow. My parents and my in-laws also battle with complex health issues where their medical data is managed by multi - disciplinary teams. Unlike India , patients do not carry their health records with them, so every time my elderly parents visit a consultant, they are asked about their medical history! Obviously they have not always been able to remember everything. Currently in the West, patients do not actually own their own data. Also, all their medication details are held with one family physician, but may not be shared with either hospital doctors or consultants, and therefore the patient is supposed to remember their personal medical history. We do not have efficient systems which empower the patient to access and share their own medical data.
At Proof Work we believe that there is a clear need to develop a platform that allows the patient, to hold, securely their own data and gain access to it across any device at any time and from anywhere. That’s essentially the theory behind Proof.Work, where Blockchain is the Technology that provides a secure platform to enable this data to be shared with their healthcare providers.
2. How different is IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) from IoT (Internet of Things) and how reliable is it?
Well, the IoMT is specifically about connected medical devices and the use of medical information across those connected devices, and is simply an extension of IoT. It is widely accepted as reliable.
3. How secure is it to mix Blockchain with Healthcare?
The use of Blockchain within healthcare is highly secure. What we’re doing is applying a technology to a sector. In this case, Blockchain is that technology. Blockchain provides a secure ledger platform where it stores information - this information is encrypted and cannot be tampered with, making it all the more secure. Anything that provides security or needs to be made secure can use Blockchain and medical data is an obvious candidate for this. Proof.Work is a democratized health and wellness ecosystem using Blockchain to self govern data and improve care. Our platform helps decentralize medical health data by granting access through smart contracts using our portable management toolkit.
4. In your platform, there is a lot of medical data that will be available online. While access to this data is permission based, how do people come to accept the fact that their medical records are available online?
All of this medical data is in a decentralized ledger which cannot be accessed without permission. Currently everyone is already sharing data. If you’ve got wearable devices like say Fitbit, or an Apple Watch or even a phone that tracks the number of steps you walk daily, all of this information is shareable. The difference arises when all of this shareable information is on a block, you know who’s looking at it and you give them the permission to access it. You also get notified if anyone tampers or makes changes to it. At the moment, you have no idea who’s looking at your data - Google has so much information on you and you don’t even own it! We are developing an app that empowers the patient .That’s the thing with the Blockchain revolution - you have a track record of who is looking at your data, you’ll know who’s tampered with it and you choose to give them visibility over your data. So you are in control of your own data.
5. Doctors and hospitals keep tabs on the medical records, but this is usually confined only to that concerned hospital. How do these hospitals agree to put their reserve of data available online?
The confinement of medical records in silos by the Healthcare sector is the very root of the issue surrounding the lack of an interoperable medical record system. By having a patient centric, focused system we can empower them for the first time to own, manage, share and possibly monetize their own data. After all patients currently do not own their records and their data is already being shared with third parties without their knowledge or permission. Specifically to answer the question, for the first time the patient will own their data and thereby give permission to hospitals to share, amend and input their medical information online, but only within a secure platform such as Proof.Work.
6. How did doctors or medical personnel react when you pitched your idea to them? Did they agree to having medical data on a public channel?
Like anything that is seen as new and or disruptive, it was met with skepticism and reservation by Healthcare professionals. There is a general recognition that there is a need to be able to access and share medical data more securely and efficiently within the entire healthcare ecosystem. Through collaborative partnerships, with key UK National Health Service (NHS) healthcare professionals in specific therapeutic areas, we have been able to develop focus groups with the aim to pilot, test and eventually develop a secure platform that would enable medical data to be accessed and shared within the entire healthcare ecosystem. As result of this collaboration Proof.Work has been able to build trust with the NHS to begin to develop a secure and efficient platform from which medical data can be shared and accessed and Blockchain technology will serve as the best platform to share information offering interoperability, trust and security .
7. With a platform like this, in the future will every medical interaction happen online? Will there be no need to visit a doctor?
No! This isn’t going to replace doctors; all it does is empowers the patient to manage their personal healthcare notes so for example , if a person is traveling to say India, then he or she doesn’t have to wait for the NHS to put together medical data from the last six to twelve months - this way you don’t have to wait to get your medical records especially when you want to show this data to a consultant in another country.
8. What information does the Decentralized Electronic Medical Record (DEMR) hold?
Once again, the patient will choose what information they would like to share, store and therefore ultimately make that available on the platform. The DEMR shall hold essentially a patient’s entire health record, right from the patient’s prescriptions, to drugs, previous surgeries, to whatever the patient chooses to share, will be stored .
9. On the website it is mentioned that in future developments, you hope to have a Proof coin (a separate type of cryptocurrency) that can be used for transactions in this platform - is that in the pipeline?
10. When is the mobile app touted to go live?
We’re past the ideation stage, we’re now into the prototype development phase and we’ll hopefully be testing the prototype with the NHS and our board of advisers. The prototype would be out in early 2018, and post that we should be up and running with multiple trial centers. The idea is to get the patient records which is a challenge and we many have to start off with implementing in small teams within the NHS. Everybody will already be using multiple platforms to maintain their medical records, so obtaining these records will be a challenge. However, challenge is good because we’re looking at disrupting the way that the healthcare sector thinks, manages and interacts with itself and most fundamentally with the patient.
This is a part of SiA, an initiative by Skcript to celebrate the women of substance.
This is for the women who stand on their own feet. This is for the women who aren’t afraid to follow their dreams. This is for the women who are making a difference, in their own small ways. This is for the she-roes. Most of all, this is for you - you are awesome.