On April 14th, 2022, Equideum Health hosted a roundtable webinar with Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs. The session was moderated by Heather Leigh Flannery, Founder and CEO of Equideum Health. Panelists included Joseph Wood, MD, PhD, , VP, Decentralized Trials and Virtual Health, Equideum Health; Friederich Trawoeger, SVP Cloud and Cognitive Services, Nokia; Amit Kumar, Head of Portfolio and Propositions, Cloud and Cognitive Services, Nokia; and Markus Hoffman, PhD, VP Software and Data Systems Research, Nokia Bell Labs.
During the roundtable, panelists discussed Health 3.0 and how Equideum Health, Nokia, and Nokia Bell Labs are striving to make it a reality in 2022 and beyond.
The Equideum Exchange
In March 2022, Equideum launched the Equideum Exchange™ in partnership with Nokia. The Equideum Exchange provides a continuous, decentralized transaction mechanism that allows individuals to securely share their personal health data with others.
The Nokia Data Marketplace
The Nokia Data Marketplace is a secure and scalable solution for business to business (B2B) data exchange and monetization. Based on a unique set of features and secured by blockchain, the Nokia Data Marketplace provides enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs) access to rich datasets as well as AI/ML orchestration capabilities.
What is Health 3.0?
Health 3.0 (also known as “Ownership Health”) is an emerging term that points to a paradigm shift in healthcare. Champions of Health 3.0 focus less on commoditized or informational healthcare and more on connecting and humanizing healthcare. Health 3.0 aims to personalize healthcare with the goal of improving the patient experience.
One of the goals of Health 3.0 is to organize an individual’s electronic health records (EHRs) so that they are owned and controlled by them for their benefit. (This concept is also sometimes referred to as “democratizing data.”) One of the steps that Equideum Health is taking to achieve this is through the Equideum Exchange, which will allow individuals to monetize their health and health-relevant data, essentially treating it as an asset class, like a stock, bond or commodity.
Addressing The Challenges of Clinical Trials
One of the first use cases of the Equideum Exchange will be to support clinical trials. While clinical trials are necessary for testing new treatments and making medical breakthroughs, they’re not without their challenges. On average, it can take anywhere between 10 and 12 years to bring a new drug or treatment to market. Patient recruitment is a key requirement of clinical trials, but getting people to participate can be tricky. “Some of those [challenges] have to do with the centralization of both medical data and its limitations,” explained Dr. Joseph Wood. “The average person in the US sees approximately 20 to 30 different providers throughout their lifetime, across 20 or more healthcare systems. You can imagine trying to match a clinical trial to a patient with that data scattered all over the place.”
Data privacy concerns create another obstacle. “[Participants] are concerned about what happens to their data, where it goes, and who has access to it. In today’s environment, you sign the trial consent form and have no visibility on where your data is going or how it’s being managed,” Wood continued.
Many believe that the key to increasing both the number and diversity of clinical trial participants lies within democratizing data while keeping it secure.
Overcoming Data Challenges at The Edge
The digital transformation trend was inevitable, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to pivot to digital strategies faster than they’d planned. Even seasoned companies like Nokia, which had been collecting data for decades, faced challenges. “What we realized,” said Friedrich Trawoeger, “is that the secure sharing of data, making data available, and monetizing data was a challenge we had no initial answer to.”
The challenges he noticed were data silos, compliance issues, data ownership, and data exchange. This last challenge, Trawoeger stated, “Is where I think even the edge comes into play because if we would like to use data in real-time, in huge volumes, it has to be at the edge.”
The Nokia Data Marketplace & Equideum Exchange
In order to further the goals of Health 3.0, it’s clear that the way companies handle healthcare data needs to change. This is the goal of the partnership between Equideum Health and Nokia to leverage the Nokia Data Marketplace.
The Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM) provides a platform where participants can securely exchange data with other participants. It uses blockchain technology to ensure that data is safe from tampering and traceable. “With the combination of Equideum Health knowledge in the space together with our blockchain technology and federated AI Machine Learning,” Trawoeger said, “We will drive transformation for the health industry.”
Amit Kumar expanded on the three fundamental capabilities built into the product:
- Data exchange in a sharing ecosystem secured using blockchain technology
- Using permissioned blockchain that provides necessary control and immutability trust for the data transaction
- A microservice-based architecture that allows invoking the respective functionality through APIs from the platform
“The federated ML feature of the data marketplace will play a very important role from a health segment perspective, especially if we talk about the Equideum Exchange,” said Kumar. “NDM will be able to enable the orchestration of diverse health data sets, which will also encourage external AI innovation to collaborate on the Equideum Exchange and drive innovation on health data.”
Data is Not the New Oil, It’s People
The panelists continued their discussion and the session was summed up succinctly by Heather Leigh Flannery: “Personal data is inseparable from personhood in a radically digital society. And it is time for us to re-conceptualize our first principles of what the nature of data actually is and what kind of future we wish to live in with respect to its use.”
Visit our video library to watch the full webinar with Equideum Health, Nokia, and Nokia Bell Labs.