If you ever thought that living over a 100 years could only be possible only for future generations, you might be mistaken. Technology and AI are advancing rapidly, and with the help of blockchain, longevity achievements might be not far ahead.
The Longevity Science Foundation, based in Switzerland, launched a $1 billion fund over the span of ten years for research and projects to advance human longevity and extend lifespan to 120+ years.
The non-profit organization aims to make longevity medicine available for everyone and will focus on four main research areas: therapeutics, predictive diagnostics, personalised medicine, and artificial intelligence. The foundation plans to fund the development of medical technology, which broadly includes blockchain.
Blockchain in the Medical Industry
Healthcare data is immense and creates challenges in centralization and security. On average, a hospital produces 760 terabytes of data every year. However, 80% of the data lacks structure and is inaccessible to researchers, according to an article by Garri Zmudze from Longevity Science Foundation.
The need for security and reoccurring consent of the data usage prevents progress for medical research. With the help of blockchain and AI, patient consent can be easily obtained, data can be unlocked for analysis, and its usage can be transparent.
“Without blockchain, artificial intelligence lacks the ethically sourced and protected biomedical data it needs to find new solutions. Without artificial intelligence, the vast amounts of data protected by blockchain remain secure but unusable for research,”
the article says.
Blockchain Technology and Longevity Research
VitaDAO is a decentralized collective that funds longevity research. The web3-based organization aspires to “create a world where longevity therapeutics are collectively funded, owned and governed by the population that will benefit from them.”
VitaDAO’s ecosystem has an open structure–everyone who owns VITA tokens can access it. To get the tokens, you need to contribute work, funds, or other resources to VitaDAO. In addition, “its collective membership, rather than a CEO or a handful of grant reviewers, will decide by vote how to deploy its funding, manage its IP, and share/publish its data.”
The organization already held a token auction on a crypto platform to receive funding for longevity researchers and raised $5.1 million (400% more than expected).
How Can Blockchain Help to Advance Longevity?
According to biochemist and researcher Eleanor Sheekey, there are two main ways in which blockchain can help to advance longevity. The first is through the funding of longevity projects such as through the recently launched VitaDAO. This not only raises significant funding for research projects but also aids in the commercialisation of drugs if they are successful.
The second way is by exploiting some of the features of blockchain technology such as security and storage of data, which is most relevant to the application of personalised or precision medicine whereby patient information such as genetics, blood profile data, microbiome assessments, epigenetic methylation, and sleep data could be transacted and analysed without risk of the patient data getting into the “wrong hands” and being exploited.
“I think it is hard to tell for now what the potential of blockchain in medical research might be, but I don't foresee a future whereby blockchain technology is not a part of medical research,”
Sheekey told DailyCoin during an email interview.
On The Flipside
- One of the major challenges of blockchain in healthcare is the technology’s adoption.
- The medical industry requires collaboration when it comes to blockchain in order to embrace the information exchange and be transparent on patient data.
Why You Should Care?
Funding longevity projects through blockchain technology might be one of the best ways to be part of the research process. Blockchain adds many benefits to the medical industry, but poses some technical challenges.