What is the project?
BurstIQ seeks to make patient data more secure, accessible, and shareable while creating richer, more personalized and insightful individual health profiles through Blockchain-based data storage and machine learning engines for data analysis. Today patient data is too frequently siloed across different data storage systems, most of which are mutually incompatible. In addition, strict regulations from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 make it difficult to share and combine data sources that can be critical for patient care, clinical studies and pharmaceutical research. The result is both difficulties for individuals to access and control their own data, and often lost opportunities for data to be evaluated comparatively, with a resulting failure to capitalize upon opportunities to advance collective understanding of critical health issues.
BurstIQ works to bring data from disparate sources, such as personal devices and different medical providers, together in a unified, yet HIPAA-compliant data repository from which it can be easily analysed, shared, loaned, or sold at the discretion of the individual user. By applying its artificial intelligence engines to anonymized individual data the company is also able to create individualized health portraits it calls Lifegraphs that can evaluate the range of inputs encompassing an individual’s personal, medical, genetic and other histories in order to develop individualized suggestions and recommendations. Further, BurstIQ plans to provide a marketplace for exchanging health information and offering products and services, where control and access rights over the data lies with the individual who can choose with whom to share their data and for how long, or whether to sell their data or donate it to a project or study they support. This represents an innovate aspect of the platform, insofar as it creates a unique intersection where individuals, research institutions, and pharmaceutical or other medical related companies can identify either studies they would like to participate in or appropriate subject populations for trials and research projects.
How does it work?
The BurstIQ platform consists of three core service levels: A blockchain to secure data, a data rights management and dynamic permissioning system using smart contracts, and machine intelligence for data analytics.
The Secure Data Grid ensures the security as well as the dynamic cross-domain extensibility of the underlying data. It uses its own permissioned, trademarked blockchain, BurstChain, to provide an immutable record of transactions. BurstChain is supposed to replace the traditional proof-of-work mechanism with a voting paradigm amongst trusted nodes that will be operated entirely by the company in the initial stages. BurstChain supports several data input and access interfaces as well as multiple data transport layers and data sources. Data are encrypted in the multiple layers of the environment, and the BurstChain is used to index them and record state changes.
A core element of BurstIQ’s approach to data security is to keep its data moving through its storage structures, protected by multiple levels of encryption, rather than simply sitting in a database. Their data security approach includes a number of encryption methods to keep data secure while in motion. The interested reader should review their white paper.
The trademarked LifeGraph helps individuals to manage and cross-examine data from multiple sources while BurstIQ applies machine learning to these data to develop a road map of an individual’s personal health data. Individuals will be able to sell, loan or even donate this personal health data through the HealthWallet, which is intended to be completed during 2018 with funds to be raised during the ICO. Individuals can receive customized health care recommendations based on their LifeGraph. Matchmaking between individuals and research projects is also provided through artificial intelligence, with automated systems scanning anonymized profiles then querying potential matches directly to enquire as to whether an individual is interested in the opportunity to participate in a particular study or research project.
Further, BurstIQ plans tol include a platform facilitating the development of third party products and services, such as deep learning tools, data processing engines, chain of custody management and clinical research solutions. The core functionalities of this aspect of the platform are likely to be targeted more at institutional rather than individual levels, at least initially. For instance, it is more likely to imagine optional services analyzing data for hospitals or provider networks appearing before apps targeted at a consumers would emerge. However, the eventual development of individually orientated retail-level programs such as an online cycling coach analyzing a rider’s Strava data within the BurstIQ platform–but also with permissioned access to a rider’s cardiographic and orthopedic histories–would allow a coach to develop a more complete understanding of their client’s full training situation. The cyclist’s mental health records, presumably not relevant for the coach’s work in this example, would remain forbidden. Continuing with this example, the coach’s access could also be revoked when the rider finishes a season or training cycle.
What is the token being sold?
BurstIQ’s upcoming token sale will see the company offer for sale 70% of its 1 billion outstanding BIQ tokens. BIQs will be redeemable both by individuals and organizations for transactions on the platform. For instance, once the HealthWallet is operable and populated by developers offering services, individuals can spend BIQ to access a product or program, while a pharmaceutical company could incentivize people to loan their data, or to participate in a study, by awarding BIQ tokens. In this way, BIQ is fundamentally an exclusive payment token, though in the early stages of the rollout, they may also accept other payment methods.
The goal is for individuals to be granted an initial allotment of BIQ tokens upon joining the network, and they will be able to earn additional tokens by allowing notices of potentially relevant projects or opportunities to be delivered to them. Both individuals and companies will be able to purchase additional tokens through crypto exchanges.
In conversation, BurstIQ’s leadership also indicated a desire to make the platform an inclusive one allowing access to individuals and groups too often excluded from much of the healthcare system. In this regard there will be both an initial allotment of BIQ tokens to be gradually distributed as grants promoting widespread access to the system. The company will also continue to replenish this grant pool by dedicating a portion of its incoming fees for future grants. There will also be mechanisms for individuals to gift tokens to other members of the network, another manner of creating avenues of access to individuals how might other remain outside the system.
What is the project status?
BurstIQ was founded in 2015. It already has an operational platform, with modest yet sustainable revenue streams and multiple large business customers, and having already processed 25 billion data points over the previous 12 months the platform is clearly capable of processing high volumes of data. The full BurstChain has only partly been developed, and the final iterations of its capabilities are scheduled to be completed during 2018 using funds from the ICO. BurstIQ has received two relatively small rounds of seed funding in 2015 and 2016, for a total of 375k USD in total equity funding from 500 Startups and PV Ventures. According to its roadmap, tests for Secure Data Grid, API, Data Analytics and visualization tools were already released in 2015. In 2016 the company released LifeGraph, a test for a data verification ledgers, and a pilot for an insurance marketplace. In 2017, BurstIQ started cloud operation and the parts of the BurstChain that include Consent Contracts. The HealthWallet, with which individuals can manage their data, has not been developed, and this too is scheduled to be completed post-ICO. In 2018 the company plans to release marketplaces for precision medicine, data and benefits as well as a health wallet, a pilot for swarm deep learning and a public BurstChain with data cloaking features.
BurstIQ plans to grow its userbase by targeting large-scale health providers and network operators who can transition relatively large populations to the system. The company ultimately intends to develop an onramp for attracting individual consumers, but this strategy will not be seriously pursued until the Healthwallet system is fully functioning, intended to occur during 2018.
Who is the competition?
There are various blockchain initiatives that focus on the storage and sharing of medical data, unsurprising given the scale of the healthcare industry. It is also a well known problem in the industry that plenty of startups are trying to tackle even without blockchain technology. Nonetheless, blockchain technology has revived interest, because a secure distributed ledger technology that no one controls could assuage companies loathe to share their data to a single hosting entity.
Blockchain initiatives targeting medical data include:
- MedRec, a collaborative project started in September 2016 between MIT and Beth Israel, that is working on a prototype to record medical data on the blockchain and allow its exchange between institutions.
- Google DeepMind Health announced in March 2017 a collaboration with the NHS to create a digital ledger that records and cryptographically verifies every interaction with patient data.
- In January 2017, UC Berkeley started a collaboration with Bitmark to research secure sharing of health data.
- Gem–which BurstIQ considers as its closest competitor–partnered with the multinational Philips to build a network for trading clinical data. Different from BurstIQ, the ecosystem addresses healthcare companies rather than individuals.
While these examples illustrate the wide range of interest in securing patient data, the above initiatives aim to break down health data siloes and enhance institutional interoperability rather than create a marketplace where individuals can control and exchange their own medical data. Companies targeting individuals include.
- Patientory is another project developing hybrid public and permissioned blockchain architecture, with the public Ethereum chain processing payment tokens and data indexed and updated on a private permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain. Patientory completed a $7.2 million ICO in June 2017.
- Blockchain Health, based in San Francisco, which aims to use blockchain to help exchange data between individuals and medical research institutions in a similar manner, yet appears to be inactive.
Who is the team behind the project?
The team behind BurstIQ has deep experience in cyber security, health care, data analysis and machine intelligence.
Founder and CEO Frank Ricotta has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in multiple industries, including Defense, Health Care, Cyber Security, and Finance. He served in the U.S. Air Force and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy. Ricotta holds patents in cyber security and machine learning, including “Systems and Methods for Enterprise Security with Collaborative Peer to Peer Architecture” (filed in 2007) and “Method of Non-Centralized Zero Knowledge Authentication” (filed in 2003).
Co-founder and COO Brian Jackson leads network engineering and technical operations. Prior to BurstIQ, he was Vice President of the cloud engineering department for an enterprise healthcare solution provider. Other key members of the team include Tyson Henry, who specializes in cryptology, blockchain, and data analytics and visualization. Prior to BurstIQ, Henry worked for the Air Force Space Weather Forecasting Center and Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), among others. Jeff Webb is a full stack architect and software engineer with more than 20 years of experience, including cloud architecture engineering and data analytic projects. According to BurstIQ’s white paper, he holds a patent for using client certificates to communicate trusted information. Both have a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado.
|Incorporation status||BurstIQ Analytics Corporation, 2015, Colorado USA|
|Team openness||Fully Transparent|
|Blockchain Developer||Brian Jackson|
|Technical White Paper||Partly Technical White Paper|
|Available Project Code||Smart Contract only|
|Role of token||The token is the sole means of payment on the network|
|Token supply||1 billion BIQ|
|Distributed in ICO||700 million BIQ|
|Emission rate||No more tokens will be issued after the token sale|
|Consensus method||Proof of Work|
|Sale period||Sep 19, 2017 to Oct 24, 2017|
|First price||proportional to participation|
|Investment Round||First public offering|
|Token distribution date||2 weeks after crowdsale|
|Min investment goal||1|
|Max investment cap||$84 million|
|How are funds held||Smart contract|
|Minimal Viable Product||30th June 2018|
|Bonus schedule||Period Bonus|
|Week 1 20 percent
Week 2 15 percent
Week 3 10 percent
Week 4 5 percent