With its 150 exabytes of stored data worldwide per year, healthcare is surely a bright example of the much discussed “data explosion”, and its growth is expected to pick up further speed thanks to decreasing costs in high-throughput medical tests such as genome sequencing, high definition diagnostic imaging, new biomolecular disease markers, not to mention the huge amount of data coming from mobile and wearable devices, all this playing a fundamental role in fostering innovation and improving clinical outcomes.
MyHealthMyData (MHMD) is the first EU-funded project that combined blockchain and advanced security and privacy-preserving tools for data publishing (pseudonymisation, anonymisation and synthetic data generation) and secure computation (secure multi party computation, homomorphic encryption), enabling and facilitating the sharing of personal data in healthcare. The system provides trusted identities of data owners and users, and smart contracts for automating data transactions while enforcing the data access policy defined by the data controllers or data subjects (through an innovative dynamic consent management tool), in compliance with GDPR. The project also explored the feasibility of AI and data analytics applications for personalised medicine using de-identified data.
MHMD main goals and influence to the future Horizon Europe that makes difference
MHMD aims at fundamentally changing the way sensitive health data are shared through an innovative blockchain-based model enforcing consent and peer-to-peer data transactions between healthcare stakeholders in a probative, secure, open and decentralized manner. By fostering the development of a true information marketplace, MHMD will fuel European future information economy and implement new mechanisms of trust and direct, value-based relationships between EU citizens, hospitals, research centres and businesses.
The project facilitates hospitals in the management of patient data in compliance with the GDPR, thanks to the traceability of data transactions, accountability and the full automatisation of the data transaction process allowed by smart contracts. Individual users, on the other side, are provided with new levels of access and control over their data, gathered from several sources in one personal account, and can set customised consent preferences though a dynamic consent tool. Researchers in the public and private sector can browse available datasets on a metadata catalogue, identify the datasets they need and request access without costly and time-consuming intermediation.
MHMD has provided a proof-of-concept for secure and privacy-preserving data sharing for medical care and research, laying the foundations for the development of large and innovative data ecosystem in the healthcare domain. Facilitating the seamless flow of data, MHMD fosters investments in the data economy, stimulating innovation and boosting the EU data economy. The project also contributed in defining a new approach to data control, engaging data subjects in the management of their personal data, and empowering them in participating to the care process, heading towards a more ‘patient-centric’ approach in healthcare. In turn, this could enable investments in completely new form of “data subject-driven” data marketplaces.