Australia’s Sydney-based startup Brontech is using Blockchain to build a platform that can establish trust and security in the healthcare system.
According to writer Liz Leigh, from Australia’s Startup Daily, Cofounder of Brontech Emma Poposka explained that the startup is specialising in the identity module.
“We are trying to build a digital identity that’s like bulletproof, and that can be used by everybody, even by people who don’t necessarily have legal identities in their countries,” she said.
“We are utilising Blockchain technology to develop a horizontal platform for identity. So we’re covering several verticals, one of them is education and the other is healthcare.”
The health platform called Cyph MD, uses Blockchain technology to facilitate the sharing of data in healthcare.
It is imperative for the healthcare sector to have an accurate, reliable and privacy-preserving data sharing system. However in most countries around the world, including Australia, this system is fragmented and individual patient records are kept in isolated data silos that are managed by autonomous healthcare providers.
For example, data of a patient’s medical history is fragmented between GPs, specialists, chemists, and hospitals. Clinicians and medical staff face many challenges when trying to communicate data with entities or personnel outside of the organisation they work for.
Cyph MD leverages asymmetric cryptography, which is the use of private and public keys to encrypt and decrypt data. The asymmetric cryptography is paired with a hierarchical certificate system so that every healthcare provider can issue ‘identity tokens’ to its practitioners who have been digitally signed by the hospital. This allows for communication between different stakeholders within the healthcare sector.
Practitioners and institutes undergo a one-off identity check and use online ‘identity tokens’ to securely communicate and share data across the entire healthcare network. Cyph MD has been built on top of the Ethereum Blockchain, a decentralised platform that runs smart contracts on its shared global infrastructure without the possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.
The Ethereum platform eliminates the need for Cyph MD to set additional infrastructure, allowing the startup to integrate the already existing data systems to facilitate data sharing as a secure communication protocol.
“We are making a protocol, essentially a platform for communication. However the data will still stay decentralised, and this pattern is not only characteristic for Australia, it’s pretty much characteristic for other countries as well,” said Poposka.
For example, Europe is governed by the European Union and so each country’s healthcare systems need to talk to each other. Cyph MD is looking integrate the healthcare system not only in Australia but across borders. This means that if someone were to migrate from England to Australia their medical data from England would be pulled from the system so doctors could use it in Australia.
“It’s very difficult to find good people in Blockchain; we have connections with Europe, but we are trying to find other startups in Australia to come to us to develop Blockchain software for them. As much as that is a great opportunity for a startup like us, it’s still a great challenge because we’re expanding very fast and we cannot find the people, so we have to train them from scratch and teach them.”