Macrogen, South Korea’s leading gene sequencing service provider, said Monday that it will work with local big data company Bigster to create a blockchain-based medical big data platform where information such as gene data can be safely stored and exchanged by interested parties.
The two companies plan to complete the platform by June next year, joining a number of other firms that are also working to launch a blockchain-based medical data trading platform here.
Gene data, which carries critical information about a person’s biological makeup, requires a high level of security and privacy protection. To achieve this, the platform will be based on blockchain technology to ensure high encryption and big data processing capabilities, Macrogen said.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger database that records and shares transactions among all participants in the network. By nature, blockchain is self-operational and tamper-proof since data is shared with and verified by all members of the network.
Macrogen’s envisioned platform will operate on a “private blockchain” in which only selected parties -- pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, hospitals and gene sequencing firms -- can participate.
“Despite its wide utility, gene data has been difficult to move around due to privacy protection issues and technological barriers. We hope that our upcoming blockchain-based platform will allow health care gene and medical big data to be circulated freely,” Macrogen CEO Yang Kap-seok said in a statement.
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org