Harvard bioengineer envisions blockchain as a catalyst to improve clinical trials
Reflective Ventures, a fund and incubator of innovative blockchain startups has recently entered into a new strategic partnership with the latest company to emerge from the growing tech community in the Boston Cambridge area. Translo, a welcome addition to the Reflective portfolio, is creating a solution for data sharing in clinical trials.
Kamran Khan, a Harvard graduate with a masters in biology, founded Translo in 2018 after hitting a wall while investigating treatment for a rare condition in which his father has been diagnosed. Even though he was a bioengineer at one of the top hospitals in the country, he realized how antiquated and inefficient our research ecosystem was.
He saw that in our current medical research ecosystem, data is fragmented and trapped in different silos. Due to data security and data privacy concerns, institutions and patients are discouraged from sharing biomedical data. Antiquated methods of data collection like getting patient consent by hand and a lack of interoperability in electronic healthcare records make it difficult to share biomedical data for clinical trials.
During his research, Kamran had an epiphany, “While I was thinking about data privacy and security issues in data sharing, I started to realize that these sort of problems were perfectly suited for blockchain to solve.”
There are quite a few blockchain protocols on the market but most do not scale well. “[Since] we’re envisioning a feature of Web 3.0 we should be choosing a protocol 3.0. And that’s what RChain is, their tech talks about concurrency and allows you to scale easily when you have hundreds and thousands and millions of transactions happening. That’s just not something other protocols can claim because they’re longitudinal and can’t have multiple transactions being recorded on multiple chains at the same time.”
Using RChain’s platform, Translo aims to solve these problems by creating interoperability in electronic healthcare record systems, incentivizing data sharing, and providing a mechanism for hospitals, research institutes, biopharma companies, and patients to share data in a decentralized, secure, and permissioned manner. Translo creates a mechanism to search and enroll patients based on specific genetic, therapeutic, demographic, and geographic criteria in clinical trials. With meaningful integrated data at scale, deep insights into diagnosis and treatments can be unlocked that previously could not be realized.
As part of the RChain Cooperative, Kamran has access to developers who know the platform and can help build Translo for scalability from day one. “We’re excited to partner with Reflective Ventures as they share our vision of re-imagining the current research ecosystem through harnessing the power of blockchain. We’re looking forward to joining this community of incredible innovators and mentors and tackling the challenging problem of interoperability in healthcare together”
The Ivy league team at Translo is a diverse group of specialists in computer science, public health, and economics who are passionate about improving quality of research in clinical trials, unlocking deep insights, and creating efficiencies in time and cost to bring new drugs to market faster and cheaper. The company also has an advisory team that includes hospital chiefs, corporate scientific officers, and Ph.D. candidates from Novartis, Harvard Medical school, MIT, and Roche.
Shahan Khoshafian of Reflective Ventures states “In order to achieve scientific advancements in biomedical research, collaboration and knowledge share between researchers is paramount. Unfortunately, in today’s environment, biomedical research data lives in silos and it is extremely difficult to send and receive sensitive permissioned data. In order to address this challenge head-on, the team at Translo is building a platform for sharing biomedical data in a decentralized, secure, efficient, and permissioned manner.”
The company plans to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) around Q2 2019. Translo’s target customers will be biopharmaceutical companies, hospitals and research institutes who can save time and money by searching and recruiting patients for clinical trials and by bringing traceability and reproducibility in clinical trials data.
Translo is a decentralized biomedical data sharing platform that allows data exchange amongst various data silo structures. Translo’s secure and privacy-preserving platform allows computations on the data being exchanged so deep insights into treatments and diagnosis can be unlocked in clinical trials. In the near future, Translo will release, Mito, a patient-centric clinical trials Dapp that empowers patients and truly reinvents how clinical trials are conducted. Translo aims to cure the pain points in data sharing and patient empowerment by automating the complexity of clinical trials and create benefits across time, cost, and risk.
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