A state in India is teaming up with a German company to develop a blockchain-based database of genomic data on its residents, Quartz reports.
Andhra Pradesh, in southeastern India, is working with the genomics and precision medicine firm Shivom to develop personalized medicine in the region by building a database of the state's 50 million inhabitants, Quartz adds. In a press release, Shivom says that it will be establishing a development center at Fintech Valley Vizag and will work with Andhra Pradesh's International Institute of Digital Technologies Tirupati on cybersecurity and analytics.
"Whilst diversity is all around us in the physical world, it is still lacking in the existing genomic data available to researchers around the world," Shivom CEO Axel Schumacher says in the release. "This results in exclusion, as minority and under-represented groups miss out on the benefits from advances in predictive and personalized medicine."
Quartz adds that testing will be voluntary for Andhra Pradesh citizens. Those who do participate would provide samples for processing by Shivom, which would encrypt and store the data, which could then be accessed by the individual, it says. However, Quartz notes that access to anonymous raw data could also be provided to researchers or governments.