Shivom Partners With Lifebit

Blockchain genomics pioneer and AI data analysis firm will provide pharmaceutical organisations and life science users with comprehensive reporting through a library of pipelines

London, United Kingdom – 11 December 2018 – Shivom, the blockchain genomics platform that is powering personalized healthcare, has partnered with Lifebit, the AI-powered DNA-analysis firm, to give users unprecedented reporting capabilities for DNA data analysis.

The partnership will mean that immediate Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) analysis is possible, with no specialist knowledge or in-house data scientist required. It also means that users can access a library of pipelines (ready built softwares that are used for analysis) and an AI-powered toolkit for analysing the data in a way that is far more scalable than other solutions.

Another aspect that makes the Shivom platform superior to other genomics platforms is that it will give pharmaceutical organisations and life science users the ability to access real-time analysis whenever they need it with no waiting time, no application process for accessing the data and deadlines or cut off dates that restrict their access.

“Through this partnership with Lifebit, we are providing enterprise users with the tools they need to find the right patients for their clinical trials more easily and more accurately than is possible through other solutions. Not only that, it brings AI into GWAS analysis in a way that hasn’t been seen before,” said Dr Axel Schumacher, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific of Shivom.

The use of genomics platforms to improve rare disease treatment has increased in recent months, with 23andMe partnering with GlaxoSmithKline to develop drugs for Parkinson’s. However, the Shivom Lifebit partnership demonstrates a major leap forward in this area because it adds AI and Machine Learning capabilities to the identification of potential patients.

To do this, users will be able to access a library of pipelines within the Shivom platform. These include preset Shivom pipelines, those created through open source software and any that an enterprise chooses to develop using Github and DOCKER services.

“Our partnership with Shivom will allow us to combine unique datasets with a level of analysis automation and insight generation that has never been seen before on a genomics platform,” said Dr. Maria Chatzou, co-founder and CEO of Lifebit. “In this way, scientists and doctors will be able to get all the benefits of this rich database without the need to rely on a data scientist for help. On the other hand, still ensuring that the individuals that have provided data to Shivom are given a level of security and control only a state-of-art blockchain technology can offer.”

The partnership with Lifebit comes with the Shivom platform having already been released in alpha. The full launch of the platform is expected in Q1 2019.


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About Shivom:
Shivom is powering the next era of genomics through blockchain technology – protecting identity, personalizing healthcare and transforming lives. For the first time ever, a precision medicine ecosystem will offer an open web-marketplace for other providers to add not only genomics information, but also analytics and associated apps and services to drive personalized medicine. Shivom intends to extend its services to form a global network of associated laboratories and research centres, as well as genetic counsellors and other relevant services.  For further information, please visit:

About Lifebit
Lifebit is building a cloud-based cognitive system that can reason about DNA data like humans do. This offers researchers/R&D professionals, and their corresponding organisations (ie. pharmas), a highly scalable, modular and reproducible system that automates the analysis processes, learns from the data and provides actionable insights. For further information, please visit:

Data Privacy and Security in Genomics and Healthcare

For most individuals, storage of genomic information raises concerns regarding data privacy, and with good reason. Current medical research studies and databases harbor numerous potential vulnerabilities in their approach for protecting participant identity. This in turn raises broader issues about safeguarding user privacy as more information becomes readily accessible to the public. These issues are becoming more and more challenging, as genomic technologies and information are used increasingly outside of research and healthcare settings.

Health data are an increasingly popular target for hackers, as this data can sell for more money than credit card numbers in an increasingly sophisticated black market, including the dark web or darknet, where such private information is sold and resold.

Health data security should remain a top priority for governments, pharmaceutical companies, biobanks, and clinical research organizations of all sizes. At Shivom, we’re taking the approach of blockchain technology to store patient data, solve privacy and identity issues, reduce vulnerability to cyber-attacks, and secure valuable IP.

More information on blockchain technology can be found here (link to previous blog re blockchain). The reason for using blockchain are numerous, but one important aspect is that the consequences of even a single cyber-attack penetrating a network of patient data can be devastating, resulting in enormous losses. An ever-increasing amount of high-profile cyber-attacks have hit companies in recent years. For example, last years attack on Quest Diagnostics which provides diagnostic services to millions of Americans each year. The company joined the list of healthcare companies targeted by hackers when it announced a data breach that exposed the health information of about 34,000 people (link to story). Other data breaches were even bigger, for example, in 2016 when US health insurance giant Anthem (a part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association) announced a massive breach that compromised the data of 78.8 million people. Attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and obtained personal information from customers such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs, social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data (link to story).

Another unsettling case was when in spring 2017 attackers stole half the US population’s sensitive personal data, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers from the credit reporting agency Equifax, yet individuals were not notified by the company until September. It has been marked as the worst data breach in US history (link to story). The Equifax hacking has created uncertainty over an estimated 143 million Americans who could be facing a serious threat of identity theft for the rest of their lives. On average, every day there are breaches in global healthcare systems. In the US, the majority (59.2%) of breached patient records were attributable to insider incidents. This clearly demonstrates that there is a significant security risk associated with centralized ownership of personal records.

At Shivom, we believe decentralization of the health and R&D data using blockchain is a step in the right direction for protecting personalized health records and all associated healthcare data. Although 100% crime prevention is impossible, using blockchain, we can gain the possibility of full detection, accountability, and audibility across highly complex systems.

We believe blockchain technology will help to reconcile the often-competing values of privacy and innovation.

The reason for this is that many people do not have confidence about giving out their personal health data online. This means they are less likely to use online services and applications, which can help foster innovation and drive personalized and self-managed healthcare.

We aim to change that mindset — providing safety and trust to all users. We will put the data owner in control, by implementing fine-grained consent and smart contracts on top of all processes. Valid, informed, freely given consent must be explicit for data collected and the use cases of the data. Blockchain technology will make sure that data privacy is not violated and that all participants are able to prove “consent” (opt-in), and any consent may be withdrawn at any time. For data storage, this means that when outsourced data storage on federated remote cloud infrastructure is used, only the data owner, not the cloud service or participants of the Shivom ecosystem, holds the decryption key.

Effective data protection means putting individuals in control of their personal information. We enable this by strengthening existing rights and by increasing access to those rights. The idea is simple. It’s the users’ data and they will decide how it’s used.

— By Axel Schumacher,CEO of Project SHIVOM

Natalie Pankova,CSO of Project SHIVOM

Understanding Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

Blockchain technology has transformed a number of industries in recent years, and has the potential to revolutionize many more as the public increasingly embraces its benefits.

Quite simply, a blockchain is a distributed tamperproof database, shared and maintained by multiple parties simultaneously on multiple systems. The database keeps secures the records that are added to it sequentially via links to private data, including personal health care data. Each file in the database contains a timestamp and secure links to the previous record. Records can be added to the database, but not removed, with each new record cryptographically linked to all previous records in time. New records can only be added based on synchronous agreement or “distributed consensus” of the parties maintaining the database. By doing so, it is impossible for one party to manipulate individual records. This type of process eliminates the extensive need for trust because participants in the blockchain can have mathematical certainty for every digital asset that constitutes the system you want to protect.

Blockchain technology will revolutionize healthcare. When storing healthcare data using a blockchain database, cryptography is used for encrypting the contents of a message or transaction, so that only intended users can open and read that content. The encryption process works via ‘Public Key Cryptography’ or asymmetric cryptography, an encryption system that uses pairs of keys. A “public key” may be disseminated widely to everyone, while a “private key” is known only to its holder. Either key may be used to encrypt a message, but the other key must decrypt the message. In this way, a patient can encode their health care data, including genomic data with a public key and be sure that only the holder of the private key can decrypt it. Second, the data can be encrypted with a private key. If the data, e.g. a hospital discharge letter, makes sense when it is decrypted using the corresponding public key, it is guaranteed that the holder of the private key is the party that encrypted the data. Such a process is equivalent to “signing” a message because it is analogous to someone putting their unique signature on a document.

Public Key Cryptography:

A cryptographic key generator is used to begin generation of a pair of keys suitable for use by an asymmetric key algorithm. Anyone can encrypt data (eg private genomic or health data) using the public key, but only the holder of the paired private key, for example a researcher or the patient’s physician, after consent by the patient can decrypt and hence access to the genomic data.

Blockchain technology, in the form of a universal model for record keeping and data storage and access (a secure, decentralized, pseudonymous file structure for data stored and accessed in the cloud) is the technology that is needed to move into the next phase of industrialized genomic sequencing.

At Shivom, we are working towards making this a reality. We aim to be at the forefront of data security and cryptography and our team works in close collaboration with leading cryptographers to add additional security levels to our platform that go well beyond using a blockchain for decentralization.

Multi-level cryptography:

It is necessary to integrate security and privacy into the design of a IT-platform (preventive action) as opposed to perceive it as an addition to a developed business solution. 
There are several layers of security and data provenance that we aim to implement, for example:

∙ Security for all parties of a transaction the owners of the solution as well as its users
∙ Stored information about the user is not to be ascribed directly to their physical identity unless it is strictly necessary and negotiated 
∙ User’s data is not to be linkable even if more external parties work together on extracting more information than the user has explicitly approved
∙ Service providers using the platform only receive valid user information without getting informed about the user’s identity

We will also work on algorithms to implement so-called proof of liability that makes it possible to identify a user who does not follow the playing rules e.g. by attempting to commit fraud (e.g. uploading data from another person).

In summary, our advanced blockchain-based architecture is aimed at enabling:
∙ That only the necessary healthcare information about the user is disclosed
∙ That disclosure is done under the user’s explicit control
∙ That the user may perform transactions under a virtual identity including not being identified unless strictly necessary/wished by the user

This will enable Shivom to be the safest, most robust health care and genomic data record and storage infrastructure globally, and enable collaborative R&D and precision medicine across health care systems.

— By Natalie Pankova, CSO of Project SHIVOM