The Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia) has signed a memorandum of understanding with E-Nome Pty Ltd, an Australian technology startup driving the application of Blockchain technology to the secure storage of health records.
Under the terms of the agreement, Garvan and E-Nome will collaborate to explore the application of E-Nome’s Blockchain-enabled health record management platform to medical research. Together, Garvan and E-Nome will assess the potential of the E-Nome platform for the secure storage of genomic information, and for the collection and management of research data across Garvan’s six research Divisions.
E-Nome has developed a Blockchain-based medical record management platform that empowers individuals to take control of their own health records, on a smartphone, with watertight security and privacy. Through the E-Nome platform, medical records can be automatically retrieved, anonymised, and stored directly from the Health Service Provider Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system without risking personal identification at any stage. The individual has the choice of consenting to all or some of the records being available for medical research studies, whilst still preserving their anonymity from researchers and research institutions.
John Mattick AO, Executive Director of Garvan says:
“Garvan is excited to be working with E-Nome. We see huge potential for E-Nome’s Blockchain-enabled platform to radically enhance the security of genomic and other health information, to the benefit of both individuals and medical research.
“We are entering the transformative era of precision health – in which an individual’s genomic information, in combination with other health records, will directly inform their lifestyle choices, their genetic risks of developing disease and the best ways to reduce those risks. In this new environment, the security and privacy of an individual’s health information must remain paramount.
“We are also ushering in an entirely new ‘data ecology’ – in which new insights into health will be derived from the comparison of thousands, and ultimately millions of individual genome sequences in concert with other health information. It is our responsibility, therefore, to actively pursue next-generation approaches that can safeguard the unique genomic information of individuals while making it available for research to improve healthcare – and to work closely with companies such as E-Nome, who share our vision.”
Nicholas Curtis AM (Founder and Chair, E-Nome) says, “Our alliance with Garvan is key to our core purpose: empowering consumers to take control of their own medical history and enabling them to share their anonymised data as they see fit, with the utmost privacy and security.
“Genomic information, which provides high-resolution data about so many aspects of an individual’s health, is an area in which data security and privacy is a particularly pressing concern. For this reason, E-Nome is proud to be partnering with Garvan, who are leaders in genome sequencing and analysis, and in the clinical application of genomic information, particularly in rare and genetic disorders, in immune disorders and in cancer.
“By bringing our Blockchain-enabled platform to bear on genomic information and other health information, we seek to position the individual at the forefront of the development of precision medicine in Australia, and to help place Australia at the forefront of global medical research.”