Genobank, a blockchain project seeking to offer consumers ownership and control over their DNA data, is preparing to launch an app on EOS-based blockchain platform Telos to assist people in accessing anonymous coronavirus testing.
According to a recent announcement from the Telos Foundation, the app will also allow users to share that information with healthcare organizations.
The open-source app, Agerona, stores the test data on the Telos blockchain, with Genobank to introduce a token that enables information sharing. The app is expected to launch this month.
Privacy concerns could hinder health efforts
Some authorities have expressed concern that undocumented workers and individuals living in a country without permission could avoid treatment or diagnosis over worries that they would be arrested or deported.
Angerona will facilitate purchases from partner test suppliers. Users can scan a unique barcode on each test to associate the results with an anonymous account on Telos controlled by the user.
Test kits can then be sent to a partner lab for analysis, with results anonymously uploaded to the Telos blockchain. If provided, the data will include the user's country and postcode to track the spread of the coronavirus.
For Geobank chief executive Daniel Uribe, the project principal mission is to provide people with a way to access coronavirus tests privately and securely.
“People have the right to know if they have the coronavirus without violating their privacy,” Uribe states.
Agerona project garners contributors in four countries
While Genobank and Telos initially partnered to develop the testing service for use in the United States, the project now has contributors in the United Kingdom, Israel and Iran — with hopes to expand into more jurisdictions.
The project is slated to develop a "mobile app for users, a processing interface for laboratories, a privacy-ensuring blockchain architecture, and sourcing and logistics solutions for low-cost COVID-19 tests and processing.”
Agerona plans to soon launch an experimental feature in which artificial intelligence-based diagnostic tools are used to analyze sound clips of people coughing.
Coronavirus pandemic showcases data-sharing features of DLT
Distributed ledger technologies (DLT) has seen many applications in the arena of data sharing and aggregation amid the global coronavirus relief efforts.
On March 27, blockchain platform Algorand launched its ‘IReportCovid’ survey app. The platform encourages respondents both healthy and sick to take the test repeatedly as their symptoms change to track the spread and symptomatic tendencies of the virus.
Each individual must respond from a single IP address. Algorand soon plans to release data analysis tools to allow public examination of the aggregated data.
The Chinese central government has also used blockchain to track and aggregate medical data.