The spread of COVID-19 has caused a global health crisis, and researchers and healthcare professionals are searching for answers to combat the spread of the virus. Real-time data about the spread of the virus – and who it impacts – can help us slow its spread and eventually develop a vaccine. To help meet the need for reliable information about the virus, HACERA and Oracle are working together with technology firms and healthcare organizations to deliver reliable information via the recently announced MiPasa platform.
MiPasa is a blockchain-based, distributed data platform launched by HACERA, which simplifies and streamlines the process of sharing and using data from multiple providers, making it accessible to researchers, software developers, and decision-makers worldwide. Finally, healthcare organizations, research institutions, private sector companies, and national and state governments can securely share COVID-19 and related data at scale.
HACERA, an accomplished startup, spent years building identity, security, and interoperability solutions, hybrid cloud solutions, and blockchain networks. Oracle and HACERA first worked together around the Unbounded Network, publicly released in 2018, connecting multiple blockchains and clouds.
When the ongoing global crisis highlighted the need for consolidated data at scale – whether it is about number of cases found, health outcomes, or vaccine trials – Oracle and HACERA teamed up to enhance MiPasa to scale to larger data sets. We did this by using Oracle Blockchain Platform to:
- Dynamically scale the capacity of the blockchain nodes,
- Provide higher resilience and maximum availability by automatically deploying the components across multiple Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Availability Domains,
- Integrate with other blockchain vendors in a multi-cloud blockchain network, and
- Stream blockchain transactions into relational schema in the Autonomous Data Warehouse for world-class analytics.
It has been said that knowledge is power, and in the current global health crisis, reliable, real-time data about the COVID-19 virus, treatments, and medical supplies is essential for making informed decisions to combat the spread of the virus. To help fill the need for medical data about the virus, HACERA created a data hub based on a multi-cloud/multi-vendor blockchain network. HACERA worked with Oracle as well as other technology firms that are part of MiPasa’s core platform enablers, including IBM, Microsoft, Splunk, and others, in addition to health organizations, universities, and various governments across the globe. The MiPasa platform also benefits from datasets and shared work done by the New York Times and Oxford University, for example. The mission was to create an open data platform which enables multiple parties to collaborate and share information.
The underlying platform is a permissioned blockchain network based on the Unbounded Network, connecting Hyperledger Fabric nodes for versioning and validation of data origins and changes, creating a tamper-evident, single source of reliable data that is securely shared among multiple parties. This multi-party solution helps to tackle the various challenges posed by siloed medical data and global, multi-tier supply chains.
From Get-go to Global MiPasa Launch in Just a Few Weeks
HACERA worked very quickly to build an impressive supportive and collaborative advisory board for MiPasa, and some of the world’s leading technology companies are contributing their best and greatest tools, infrastructure, and products to the effort.
From the drawing board to the early stages of the network design, the HACERA team made sure that MiPasa is architected from the ground up to be a multi-party play. It was paramount to MiPasa that we bring together a large number of data providers and many datasets, as well as a wide variety of data consumers and Machine Learning and AI experts, who also need advanced data analysis tools. Thanks to HACERA’s partner network, HACERA was able to join forces and launch a network of such a scale in such a short time. HACERA ‘came ready’ to the crisis and was able to accommodate the demanding task and the multi-party collaboration needed to make this work. The technology stack HACERA built over the years allowed us to launch MiPasa in just weeks. With the infrastructure in place HACERA quickly focused on assembling a collaborative multidisciplinary supergroup of health professionals and privacy experts, and make the MiPasa available to the world’s biggest hackathons and the global research community.
The Need for MiPasa
MiPasa solves the challenge of bringing together the vast sets of research, insights, and data needed by healthcare professionals, research institutions, and decision-makers in the private sector and various levels of government. As the data is brought together and shared on the blockchain, there are a number of benefits that help to solve some of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, including:
- Standardization: Providing a standard set of APIs for data sharing
- Reliable data: Combining, standardizing, and cleansing data from multiple providers into a single platform with data traceability
- Single source of truth: Enabling researchers and other data consumers to easily process and analyze rich data sets in a single platform
- Trusted Findings: Fostering accurate, scientific, and quantifiable decision-making based on empirical findings
The applications and utility of this platform are wide-ranging, and are only limited by the imagination of its users. Combining multiple verified data sources in new ways enables researchers to uncover new correlations and develop critical insights. For example, MiPasa makes it very easy to check whether there is a correlation between the temperature ranges across different regions and the average COVID-19 patient’s recovery time. Similarly, epidemiological signals can be detected that otherwise could not be found using traditional methodologies or single datasets. A few weeks ago there was a hypothesis that the severity of COVID-19 was lower in certain Asian and Eastern European countries due to specific mandatory BCG vaccinations used in the region. Combining previously siloed data can help to quickly check such hypotheses. The MiPasa data platform can also be used to:
- Pinpoint trends for analysis: Characterize health risks based on specific environmental, demographic, occupational, and geographic factors. This data can predict second wave spikes and correlate them to a broad range of local conditions and isolation rules.
- Identify best re-opening safety protocols for various industries: Detect efficacy and safety signals of certain procedures being implemented in opening up hotels and other hospitality establishments.
- Efficiently track and collaborate on clinical trials: Track and correlate results from multiple large-scale vaccine studies currently underway.
- Determine infection rates by age: Conduct statistical analysis on SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection rates in different age groups across countries and regions.
There is an increasing variety of data sources on the MiPasa platform that are analyzed independently, cross-validated, and used for aggregate comparisons across organizations, countries, and regions. These include structured and unstructured inputs as well as datasets using various languages as shown below.