Ascendance is a system for science teams to transparently conduct biomedical research. Science teams are able to accept testers to make negative or positive attestations about a therapy. Therapies with positive results are certified by a research company, allowing the researchers to in turn certify manufacturers and distributors.
This is the deliverable for Week 1 + 2 (also attached as a .ZIP)
Ascendance - Biomedical Research Paradigm
Deliverable for Week 1
Our team is compromised of members of Agarthia, a decentralist collective that has split off from BitNation. More info: www.agarthia.io
Key Team Members: Tristan Roberts (US) - Systems Design, Project Manager, Documentation Amin Rafi (NL) - UI/UX, Graphics Eliott Teissonniere (FR) - Blockchain/Backend
Ascendance is a paradigm for establishing trust in unregulated and/or inaccessible markets. For this Hackathon, we are exploring the use case of biomedical therapy research and delivery. Our end goal is for people to be able to purchase items on markets such as OpenBazaar with confidence: to the degree that their very life is at stake.
This is done by creating a web-of-trust consisting of mutually signed blockchain transactions, that point to agreements (documents) that are stored offchain. a Examples of these co-signed agreements: A research company authorizing a science team to begin testing A tester attesting to a therapy being effective, ineffective, or hazardous A science team authorizing a manufacturer to produce the therapy A manufacturer or science team certifying a distributor as being a legitimate outlet
Our main deliverable is a user interface for examining the resulting web of trust between eco-system actors: research companies, science teams, manufacturers, distributors, and testers. This will allow any consumer-patient doing their due dilligence to examine the entire supply chain and research outcomes. Blockchain is not necessarily needed for solving this problem, but it provides an ideal environment for storing all the signatures on a single network. Transactions will point to documents that may be stored on traditional or decentralized networks such as IPFS.
The gray markets for biomedical treatments are immense, but hard to quantify. Decentralized markets such as OpenBazaar are growing rapidly and provide the ideal distribution system. The Ascendance platform would be creating new markets by bringing novel therapies to the patients who need them, while providing just as much accountability than the legacy system.
What other solutions are currently being used to address this problem: Traditional biomedical paradigm (costly, lengthy, inaccessible) Medical tourism (costly, time consuming, semi risky) Virtual & Physical Gray markets (costly, risky) All of these current solutions are problematic and ripe for disruption.
Disclaimer: Ascendance Biomedical is an existing company that has already been conducting research and delivering therapies in the traditional manner. This entry into the hack-a-thon is developing the vision of a decentralized biomedical company of the founder (Aaron Traywick) into a proof-of-concept. Tristan Roberts had been developing the concept but no code had been written, and barely a white paper had been started.
Ascendance - Biomedical Research Paradigm
Deliverable for Week 2
Who are your clients/users? What are their pain points?
Our initial clients are people who are already purchasing therapies on decentralized markets such as OpenBazaar. They already have some familiarity with cryptocurrencies, and already rely upon metrics to evaluate from who they should buy. Our system would amplify their ability to trust what they are putting into their bodies, by allowing them to trace the links between distributors, manufacturers, and researchers.
Another type of client are those who are desperately need healing. Perhaps there is no widely available treatment, or perhaps it is inaffordable where they live.
This system would allow them to purchase a therapy that they can SEE has worked, based upon the attestations for people who have tested it out already. There are a considerable number of people with rare conditions that are hopeless because Big Pharma does not view it as worthwhile to produce a cure. This system is a way to ASCEND past these societal limitations.
What is your product's value proposition? Transparent, trustworthy, accessible healing and augmentation. Making gray markets opportunities rather than risks.
What is your distribution and go-to-market strategy? Who can you partner with? Our ideal partners are distributors on markets such as OpenBazaar, who have already established some level of reputation on their respective platform. Our system would allow them to vend new therapies that they and their clients can trust. Therapies that are established using our testing paradigm could potentially be sold to traditional corporate and governmental agencies as well.
What are the risks associated with your solution? Biomedicine is an incredibly sensitive market and we are keenly aware of it. We are literally asking people to trust us with their lives.
It is ultimately the responsibility of each research company to insure that they are not accrediting a bunk therapy or shady distributor. Research companies and science teams are able to void accreditations at-will.
While it is theoretically possible for a science team to game the system with fake testers, the research company and distributor's reputations would suffer, so there is an innate balance towards trustworthy behavior. Clients will be able to lodge negative attestations to any other party in the supply chain so that way there is at least transparent feedback. Even if a research company doesn't void an accreditation for a hazardous therapy, users would be able to see negative attestations and alter their behavior accordingly.
There is also non-trivial threat from the existing biomedical corporations that may not want to see their profits disrupted - profits largely based on chronically treating symptoms rather than delivering one time cures.
What is the impact of your solution? How will it be measured? We are seeking to heal humans and perhaps even augment them. Our success will be measured in the number of therapies certified (after receiving positive attestations from testers). And just as importantly, the number of people who purchase these therapies.
Define impact criteria: Ideally, the number of therapies provided to patients. However, ASCENDANCE intentionally does not handle distribution to patients after a therapy has been certified.
Number of Treatments Received by Testers Number of Therapies Accredited by a Research Company Number of Manufacturers Accredited by a Science Team Number of Distributors Accredited by Manufacturers/Science Teams
Functional Requirements: For this hackathon: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xmCiaWbUOwRiYX_4uy9KEIViZK8Rc8ZEzhRQyoUlYMs/edit?usp=sharing For 1.0: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MYQQuuUHJD2NJ3aPD3bJaeiDqlD14joyGxXXb5J6nNI/edit?usp=sharing