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Why Nano Vision is Our Favorite Blockchain Company This Year

Amy Tori

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Blockchain experienced explosive growth and mainstream exposure in 2017, thanks in part to the dramatic and newsworthy price fluctuations of bitcoin, which hit $14k in December. Though blockchain can certainly provide a wild ride as a financial services item, 2017 was also when industries across the world started to realize it could have many, many other uses. From microloans to energy to transportation, blockchain has the potential to change the world. And it might have the most potential of all in one of the nation’s largest and most controversial industries: healthcare.

Data collection and analytics – on a massive scale – could transform the healthcare industry. Forbes recently stated that “Big Data” is “being used to predict epidemics, cure disease, improve quality of life and avoid preventable deaths.” But data organization in medicine presents serious obstacles to medical researchers hoping to solve some of our time’s most pressing health issues.

The Problem with Modern Healthcare Data

The healthcare world is a potent space for innovation–who hasn’t gotten excited by sci-fi-ish predictions of one day 3-D printing organs, or using brain wave patterns to control prosthetics? Yet developing true healthcare breakthroughs is a very expensive, and often frustratingly low-reward process. Clinical Leader recently reported that fewer than one in ten drugs make it all the way through clinical trials and approval processes to market. Rates are even lower for for several important drug subsets such as cancer treatments.

The situation is especially dismal for rare diseases, which have a hard time attracting healthcare research investment dollars due to the low occurrence of any one given disease. According to Drug Discovery and Development, rare diseases collectively impact more people over the globe than AIDS and cancer combined. For people trying to solve these rare conditions, data is a precious commodity and all forms need to be immediately discoverable. A 2014 New Yorker article highlighted how tenuous the healthcare network supporting rare disease-impacted families can be, reporting that two families struggling with rare genetic diseases were only connected–and received significant medical insight thanks to that connection–after one family’s story went viral on social media platforms.

Healthcare data is often siloed into the institutions that generate it. The flaws in this arrangement are obvious — if one company discovers one half of a cure and another company discovers the other half, it could take years and years for the two to realize they possess complimentary data and collaborate on a breakthrough. Economic competition and strict IP arrangements could impede collaboration even after the two companies become aware of each other’s data sets. Forbes recently labelled data siloing “healthcare’s silent shame”.

And finding this data, even if its fate is only to be siloed, is massively expensive. The National Institute of Health invests nearly $32.3 billion in medical research annually, and the competition between studies and institutions to earn a sliver of that funding is fierce. Duplicate efforts and failed projects further inflate the price of healthcare research, without increasing the rate of measurable steps forward that so many families are desperately seeking.

Nano Vision’s Solution

The Nano Vision platform gathers real-time data from institutions all over the world. If a biomedical research firm in India and a hospital in the US are working on complimentary projects that combined could push towards a breakthrough in treating a specific disease, both parties can access each other’s findings and and collaborate using Nano Vision’s data aggregation platform. High-resolution, realtime data is captured in the blockchain, rendering it universally accessible and traceable.

Artificial intelligence is an increasingly massive presence in the tech world, and blockchain is no exception. The Nano Sense platform uses artificial intelligence programming, backed by constantly self-improving machine learning, to sort through the platform’s aggregated data and build connections and conclusions that could ultimately lead to major healthcare innovations. The next breakthrough heart disease treatment or life-saving chemotherapy drug isn’t going to be invented without plenty of hard work by human medical and research professionals, but Nano Sense’s AI platform will show those researchers new connections, potential solutions, and areas for further study.

In November, Nano Vision announced a partnership with Arm, the world’s leading semiconductor IP company. The two groups are leveraging their knowledge bases to collaborate on developing an AI-driven chip that could fit on the head of a pin. The chips, set to first arrive in 2020, mint a dedicated cryptocurrency that assigns real-world value to the molecular data generated by the Nano Sense platform. The chips’ system-on-chip architecture will be able to gather data in a wide variety of environments, from the doctor’s office to patient homes.

Both the chips and the cryptocurrency create “citizen scientists”, people who may have no scientific or medical training but can still contribute in meaningful ways to the development of healthcare breakthroughs. The chips could be used by citizens outside of strictly medical environments to gather valuable data such as air quality indicators or to monitor growing conditions for black mold. And anyone can buy or sell Nano Tokens, unique cryptocurrencies that contain valuable health data in their blockchains, contributing to an ecosystem that incentivizes the ongoing generation and exchange of research. Users can even allocate some of their tokens to research areas that are particularly significant to them.

Final Thoughts

Blockchain innovation is going to come at us fast and furious in 2018, with many companies creating stunning new applications for this technology. But of all of them, Nano Vision might be the company most prepared to fundamentally change the world and alleviate human suffering, as its dataset and increasingly intelligent machine learning AI platform fuel innovation at a faster and faster pace. Hopefully there are diseases stalking us today that our children will never have to worry about. Nano Vision is our favorite company of 2018 because it helps us ensure that future generations will be safe.

How could blockchain revolutionize healthcare research?

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