Dr. Jason Cross, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Rymedi, sat down with me to explore the concept of Connected Health, including how it can be used to expand access to high-quality healthcare, current barriers to its adoption, and his predictions for the future.
Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:
Q: You bring up a very important point and the point is about trustability. Hence, you’re entertaining, if you will, navigation of a technology that I think a lot of people are still reticent about. They think it’s only used for cryptocurrency and Dogecoin and NFTs, but they don’t really see the application to old legacy frameworks like pharmaceutical companies. Tell us a little bit about delving into blockchain and how this is being used with your company Rymedi.
A: Great question. A lot of our approach to blockchain leveraging blockchain technology derives from our CEO’s background as a CIO and CTO in pharma manufacturers and, importantly, in logistics and automotive companies. Which, in the 90s, made a transition to lean manufacturing, “just-in-time” supply chains, and really datafied supply chain management. As you’re aware Natalie, pharma is just now stepping up to automating a lot of that coordination across parties.
Dave always brings an enterprise scalability perspective to deploying technology. When I met him actually, he was already using public blockchain protocols to provide change controls, essentially, immutable audit trails, unhackable control of who has access to what information inside of pharma manufacturing process. Therefore, automating a lot of quality controls, quality assurance, and automating a lot of data capture that would automatically fill out compliance reports.
I said, “Dave look, this is quality management system automation in the factory. We can take this out to the world of decentralizing healthcare systems, where lots of parties don’t trust each other.” Dave’s approach to the technology architecture is always focused on like, “All right, the blockchain tech is constantly evolving. How do we use what’s available now to provide the industry and patients value immediately with products that are scalable?”
We use a combination of private blockchains and public blockchain protocols and a proprietary three cryptographic key management system. Such that, personally identifiable information sits on one private chain, protected health information sits on another. Cryptographic keys have to align the two but they need a third key that is always hashed and tied to a public blockchain protocol. Combining those three keys from a computational proof of perspective is massively scalable in a way that, making an NFT for example, out of every data element or key transaction right now just simply wouldn’t.
Not to say that the world won’t get to that point, but for a cost-effective, easily scalable use of the benefit of immutable audit trails, nearly unhackable – pending quantum computing change -access controls. Most importantly, in the next few years, there will be zero-knowledge, cryptographic proof. So, proof of something without having underlying visibility into the information. This will really unleash the potential of machine learning and other AI in healthcare, where there are a lot of very reasonable privacy and intellectual property reasons why everyone silos information. Making it safe for models to train across silos with what people are calling “federated learning” and ultimately conduct queries across silos. All of that is going to be safe for healthcare companies and government agencies and are going to require the benefits of blockchain for that.
For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Dr. Jason Cross, or listen to the podcast version, below.
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