Blockchain and artificial intelligence are currently two of the hottest technology sectors, so it makes sense that the two have joined forces in a number of different industries–including healthcare.
Announced on Friday (August 11), blockchain giant The Bitfury Group–and artificial intelligence and bioinformatics company, Insiloco Medicine–stated the two had entered into a collaborative agreement to develop healthcare application solutions using blockchain technology.
According to the joint press release, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to study and develop AI solutions that will help manage, track, and validate healthcare data.
“Blockchain can secure and streamline our medical systems, while AI has the potential to revitalize data management and machine learning to help identify trends and diseases,” Valery Vavilov, founder and CEO of The Bitfury Group said in the release.
According to Reuters, the partnership is still in development, and that there is no additional information regarding upcoming projects or uses.
Still, Vavilov said in the joint announcement that by partnering with Insilico, the companies will be able to meld Insilico’s knowledge of bioinformatics with Bitfury’s blockchain expertise to create products in the healthcare sector.
“Bitfury is one of the most reputable Blockchain companies, developing their own end-to-end Blockchain solutions trusted by the major corporations and governments worldwide,” Alex Zhavoroknov, PhD., founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine said in the announcement.
All that being said, artificial intelligence technology is not entirely new to the healthcare sector, although it is certainly making more headlines in recent months.
“Just like we would teach a trainee in medical oncology or surgical oncology, we’re teaching the MSK Watson system,” Dr. Mark Kris, a lead physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering, said. As stated in the article, doctors provide information to Watson for Oncology so it can learn the right treatment options.
The artificial intelligence technology expands to clinical trials as well. Case in point, the AiCure platform was designed to “improve and monitor patient adherence,” by using a webcam to see that patients are correctly taking their medications.
In May, CNBC reported that some of the biggest tech companies, including the above-mentioned IBM’s Watson, Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Philips (BIT:PHIA) have put significant investments into pharmaceutical companies. According to research from Frost & Sullivan, the artificial intelligence in health care and life sciences is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021.
With the rise of blockchain technology, the press release issued by Bitfury states blockchain has potential to track and validate a substantial amount of healthcare data securely and efficiently by “opening the door to the necessary solutions to effectively organize data for deep learning systems.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.