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Nebula Genomics, Oasis Labs Partner to Offer Secure Personal Genomic Data

This story has been update from a previous version to clarify that the partnership focuses on securing personal genomic data, not personal health records.

NEW YORK – Nebula Genomics said Monday that it has formed a partnership with data privacy software developer Oasis Labs to enable individuals to better manage their own genomic data.

San Francisco-based Oasis Labs is not a genomics-specific or even healthcare-specific firm but makes a privacy product called Parcel that allows third parties like Nebula to grant consumers control to personal data generated on those companies' platforms. Oasis relies on blockchain technology to safeguard data, a technology that was instrumental to the founders of Nebula, which include Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church.

In a statement, Church said that direct-to-consumer DNA testing has been hampered by privacy concerns, including controlled access to test results.

"Those issues have raised widespread privacy concerns that have significantly slowed down the growth of the entire genetic testing industry," he said.

"Today, it's incredibly difficult for users to own and control their data in a private and secure way. Consumers need new solutions that provide the benefits of using data at scale without the risk that their data may be taken out of their control," added Oasis Labs CEO and Founder Dawn Song.

Nebula users will be able to monitor data access via an app provided by Oasis. Currently, the integrated product from the two companies is in beta release for new Nebula customers, but the DNA testing firm said that a production version will be available to all customers in the next few month.