Health2047 kicked off the new year with the launch of its data sharing spinout business and renamed it Akiri — previously known as Switch. The launch of the company, which is intended to make it easier to transmit data between pharmacies, patients, and physicians, is part of a wider effort by Health2047, affiliated with the American Medical Association, to make clinicians a driving force in health IT innovation.
The company relies on blockchain technology to help transmit information securely through codes, according to a press release.
“Security and compliance about medical healthcare data are extremely difficult,” Akiri CEO Adriaan Ligtenberg said in a recent phone interview. “Our mission is to create a secure, compliant and trusted network for physicians, patients and the whole ecosystem.”
A key focus for the startup is trust. It’s crucial to ensure that all stakeholders are able to participate and know their data is safe.
Ligtenberg also elaborated on his company’s use of blockchain. “There are a couple big advantages,” he said. “We’re using kinds of blockchain technology in the sense that we have a distributed ledger,” he said.
Overall, he said Akiri’s approach makes the connection process easier. “A lot of the complexity in managing the IT infrastructure of a hospital becomes so much simpler,” he noted.
Ligtenberg has served as a managing director with Health2047 and previously led cardiovascular medical device monitoring business BMEYE BV, which Edwards Lifesciences acquired in 2012.
Last year, Health2047 CEO Doug Given said the spinout would use 2018 to build a minimally viable product before rolling it out in 2019. The goal is to create a way to share data between more than 100 major health systems.
“We must advance and embrace new technologies that have the potential to create truly meaningful market impact at the system level,” AMA CEO James Madara noted in a statement. “The data liquidity problem that physicians and other healthcare stakeholders currently face needs to be solved because it’s one of the biggest barriers to improving the physician-patient relationship.”
Although Akiri is another example of how companies are developing interoperability work-arounds, given the current challenges of sharing information between health systems, this approach seems more ambitious. Akiri’s data transmission network will include health information exchanges and help personal health records to be transmitted.
Looking ahead, Ligtenberg said the startup’s top priority for 2018 is to roll out its technology to the major players in the healthcare world, from hospitals to pharma companies.
“We really want to be sure we connect data from everywhere to make it extremely safe,” he concluded.
Photo: akindo, Getty Images
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