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DeBio Network – The Anonymous-First Appchain for Medical and Bioinformatics Data

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“Our motivation is to provide users with the necessary tools to take control of their own data and use their data in ways they deem fit. In a way, we are returning the power to the users.”

Genetic testing is a booming global business enabled by the internet. Many people take a genetic test to see if they are at risk of a disease or to find out about their heritage. In terms of internet health, it’s part of a worrying trend of corporations to acquire personal data about people and act in their own best interests. The test results can also lead to important discoveries about your personal health and be shared for non-profit biomedical research in the public interest. This doesn’t sit well with most people as they want to preserve their privacy and data.

The advent of web 3.0 and decentralized technologies has made it possible for privacy-based solutions more accessible. DeBio Network is one such solution exclusively built for medical and bioinformatics data specializing in genetics testing. DeBio eliminates risks of genetic discrimination by leveraging blockchain technology and high-level encryption to protect identity — while allowing users to access the benefits of genetic testing.

Pandu Sastrowardoyo, CEO of DeBio Network, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how she and her company are maintaining anonymity during genetic testing and eliminating genetic discrimination.

Interview Highlights

Q. What was the motivation behind starting DeBio Network?

The rise of personal genetic testing brought on by more efficient technology, lower costs, and the overall improvements in the entire industry have resulted in an increase in data. This has to be protected; web2.0 predecessors like Facebook, Twitter, and their equivalents did not implement the necessary safeguards to protect their user’s data.

Having users relinquish control of their data can be extremely dangerous today in the biogenetics space, especially with technologies like CRISPR, which allows for bioengineering based on their genetic data. In short, our motivations are to provide users with the necessary tools to take control of their own data and use their data in ways they deem fit. In a way, we are returning the power to the users.

Q. Can you explain about your services in brief?

We offer a platform for both users who are searching for personal genetic testing and labs or establishments that provide genetic testing services. It is an avenue for users who wish to monetize their data and labs/companies who wish to access aggregated data sets. Our platform preserves user privacy while allowing them to access personal genetic testing services from home and allow monetization of data while maintaining ownership, sovereignty, and privacy. We help labs determine demand based on crowd-sourced data and make use of underutilized resources.

Q. How does your solution align with the existing medical practice?

At the moment, we are an informative and research focused platform where you can actually utilize the data from whatever services you get from our platform or any other genetic sequencing provider to get a baseline for referrals, or if you intend to have something more diagnostic; it’s actually in a feature that we’re currently developing. As mentioned above, it provides users who wish to have their genes sequenced the ability to maintain their anonymity and the option to monetize their data.

Tell us about the new revenue streams generated by your solutions.

Our solutions help labs to determine or forecast demand for genetic sequencing services. Aggregated gene data sets can be used for research purposes and can be made readily available to any research facility with an internet connection. Also, due to the nature of how the data is managed, multiple revenue models can be developed to ensure that the rewards flow back to both the providers of the data and the labs that sequenced them.

Tell us in brief about your data management system and compliance.

Data Management is based on asymmetric encryption, privacy computing, and decentralized storage. With asymmetric encryption, control of the information rests with the user. Because the data is encrypted with a private key, only the owner of the private key can decrypt the data.

Privacy computing allows parties to perform algorithms on datasets without downloading the data sets. This is a boon for data ownership because researchers can buy data and ensure that the data is not leaked or reused by other parties who were not part of the transaction. The use of decentralized storage will also ensure that all the information is distributed across multiple nodes and not in a centralized location that can be a target for malicious hackers or be compromised by the node operator.

Because our platform deals with data that has been anonymized and KYC data does not enter the system, all the information within our datasets cannot be tied to our users. And this is one key point when it comes to compliance because the nature of our data in the platform is anonymous and can never be tied to our users; hence we do not need to conform to certain privacy laws that govern certain regions.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

We aim to build solutions that provide;

  • The ability for other developers to build distributed apps on the DEBIO blockchain
  • The ability to run medical crowdfunding drives with on-chain proof
  • The ability to request genetic analysis based on existing genetic sequencing data
  • Anonymizing EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and making it accessible to multiple platforms to be used in a variety of applications

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?

The future is bright for DeBio Network as there are a lot of new technologies that simplify gene sequencing and analytics. A lot of new technology allows us to work on these data sets beyond analytics, for example, genetic engineering. This can lead to many illnesses getting cured, but you need to have control of your data. So with the proliferation and growth of the bioinformatics industry, more and more data will be made available, and the need for an alternative to the current centralized structures will grow. We believe DeBio will fit perfectly in this niche because the next step in this evolutionary phase is when the control of data is returned to its users.

The Visionary Leader Upfront

Pandu Sastrowardoyo is the Chief Executive Officer of DeBio Network. She is a G20 speaker who graduated as an environmental engineer and started her career as a microbiologist, then moved on to work with IBM for six years. After that, she went on to found multiple startups and associations. Namely, the Indonesian Blockchain Association, Blocksphere, Blockchain Zoo, RealityChain, and many more, before founding Debio Network. She is also a very hands-on advisor who advises multiple blockchain projects in the Metaverse and NFT space.

“Our platform preserves user privacy while allowing them to access personal genetic testing services from home and allow monetization of data while maintaining ownership, sovereignty, and privacy.”