Author: Jagdish Kumar, India
Andhra Pradesh chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu has signed an partnership agreement with Shivom, a Germany-based private firm to use blockchain based technology for improving predictive medicine in India.
The company deals in genomics and precision medicine to develop this revolutionary technology. It is also looking to utilize the blockchain technology in digitalizing the land registry system and also to tackle identity theft too.
For this, the company will set up a new development centre in Fintech Valley, Visakhapatnam and would work with India’s International Institute of Digital Technology (IIDT) at Tirupati on cybersecurity and analytics..
Under this, the state wants to collect all the data of its citizens that helps scientists study different gene variations and their links to diseases while blockchain is a perpetually growing block of digital ledgers linked together securely.
Using the new technology, all participants that are around 50 million will submit their genome samples like saliva swaps to the Shivom facility. The collated data will be stored in an encrypted form in a secret vault accessible, whereas the anonymous genomic data will be stored in the cloud which will be made accessible for research purposes.
Andhra Pradesh will use Shivom’s blockchain-based global DNA ecosystem to make this vision a reality. All of their genomes will be sequenced between now and 2025.
Axel Schumacher, co-founder, and CEO of Shivom said that the more DNA sequences are available, the better we can understand genetic diseases that may only affect certain groups of people and improve the preventative medicines available.
With the ongoing fear of privacy breach on citizen’s genetic data, the state government said that though they aim to cover the whole population of the state, it is an optional testing. There is nothing to fear, as the technology is safe, immutable and secure.
India is looking to pioneer in usage of cuting-edge blockchain based technology system for which, it recently signed an memorandum of understanding agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore explore joint opportunities in the field of blockchain technology.
Shivom is a genomics and precision medicine company that leverages blockchain technology to connect patients, researchers and clinical laboratories to one platform, according to company website.