This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Healthcare series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and healthcare.
In this interview we speak with Nate Raine, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shivom, to understand how this company is using blockchain to transform the healthcare business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Shivom? Why and how did you begin?
NR: The conceptualization of the project began in December of 2016. The name ‘Shivom’ is partly derived from the Indian terms ‘Shiv’ and ‘Om’, both meaning destruction and (essence of) life. We chose this name as it relates to our vision for the distant future of mankind, helping to destroy every disease and foster new life. Shivom is the next evolutionary step in the fields of genomics and blockchain, bringing both technologies together. For the first time ever, an ecosystem will offer an open web marketplace, in which other providers can add their apps and services, alongside genomic data analytics and personalized medicine.
2. Please describe your use case and how Shivom uses blockchain:
NR: Shivom is a biotechnology data and analysis company optimizing the way healthcare and omics data 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.
Our platform utilizes blockchain and smart-contract technology to verify ownership of DNA data and authorize transactions between both consumers, enterprises and research organizations. Blockchain is a new technology which has demonstrated an encrypted and decentralized architecture to authorize, trace ownership and protect privacy; which is not currently available with centralized technologies. This is important to our users, who will now have ownership and total control of their own DNA data; all the while being able to control who has access at any given time. Additionally, we utilise blockchain to provide traceability for our users when uploading and sharing data, updating permissions and or purchases from our genomic and direct-to-consumer marketplace.
3. What other blockchain healthcare use cases are you excited about?
NR: Beyond secure storage and data sharing here is our top uses cases we are excited about:
- Relief efforts and mass impact.
- Blockchain to combat counterfeit drugs.
- Tracking / Verifying medical credentials.
4. Where will Shivom be in five years?
NR: There are indeed several other groups interested in putting genomic data on blockchains, which primarily, proves our value proposition. However, none of the other teams have a similarly all-inclusive business model. Most startups often have only domain-specific experience in some areas, lacking the well-rounded nature necessary to build a sustainable company. While they may have a business perspective in some niche areas, Shivom has a comprehensive business model, leveraging game theory and network effects to establish a fully-integrated healthcare service system with long-term sustainability and the possibility for users to monetize their data.
Our team already has experience in building highly scalable precision medicine and bioinformatics platforms. To that end, we do not regard other genomics groups as competition; rather, we invite them to work with us to form a better and stronger genomics ecosystem to collaboratively create seismic changes in how individuals receive medical care and how therapies will be developed. We have an entirely global vision, with the goal of integrating multiple services into one interconnected ecosystem. We aim within the next 5 years to leverage more mainstream collaboration and partnerships to make this happen in an open and transparent way, truly utilizing the complete set of benefits that blockchain technology has to offer. While this is a grand vision, it’s not entirely out of reach, and we have put together a business plan and team that’s capable of executing this on a global scale.