Personal Health Wallet
Using blockchain technology to securely share private health information.
Updated March 31, 2023.
Imagine being able to present a complete medical history to your healthcare professional – from test results and prescription history to treatment records.
Currently, Canadians’ vital health data remains mostly unconnected, preventing diverse healthcare professionals to see all or part of a patient’s medical history.
Integrating this data brings technical challenges, as well as raises privacy concerns about who can have access to the information, and how they get access.
How We Are Solving It
Giving people secure control of their own healthcare data is the goal of the Personal Health Wallet consortium made up of Molecular You, StonePaper and the University of British Columbia. The project also includes representatives and advisors from the Government of British Columbia, Roche Canada, IBM, DNAstack, Microbiome Insights and Microsoft.
Open source blockchain technology will give individuals complete control of their health data and the cryptography to support the security, authenticity and integrity of their data. Through this technology, users will be able to choose to share information with researchers, doctors and other healthcare professionals in a way that lets them retain control of their personal health information, knowing that their privacy and the security of their data is protected.
The platform will also help overcome growing trust barriers that make it difficult for healthcare researchers and providers to access real-world data to drive improvements in healthcare research and artificial intelligence. Putting individuals in control of sharing their own data can help break down these barriers.
The long-term goal is a personal health wallet for every interested Canadian to confidently upload and share their health information with approved parties, and a reward system that encourages usage and positive behavioural changes – contributing to improved health and wellness.
This project sought to address challenges in the health care system around disconnected, siloed medical data of individuals; accessing data for research purposes; and legitimate privacy concerns around sensitive health information. To this effect, the project developed and piloted the use of blockchain technology that allows individual users custody and control over access to their personal data in a manner that respects users’ privacy, while allowing for and incentivizing sharing of, data with selected research partners. Researcher partners gained access to a network of study participants with pre-collected datasets obtained from verified sources. The project included pilot testing of the newly patented MyPDx platform with partners, including a major pharmaceutical, to successfully demonstrate the platform’s capacity to work with new data types.
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