Who are we
We are 5 young motivated students from the Eindhoven area (and a bit beyond :)) Firstly we want a moment of silence for our fallen friend Yannick #NeverForget, unfortunately, he became ill Friday night. RIT Yannick (Rest In Train). With the departure of Yannick we have only one experienced hackathonner left: Bas! He is the support for the team right now. Together with Rik he is mainly busy making code to make the platform work. Sandra and Joost Complete the team by working on user experience and the ethics behind the idea of Careum.
Since we really wanted to do something with blockchain we chose the healthtech challenge provided by Accenture. The different team roles are nicely accentuated. By using knowledge about (mainly) hacking, designing, and ethics we want to make a nice solution, in which the patient is the main orientation!
What it does
Careum focuses on people, patients to be exactly. Their data needs to be more secure for third parties like insurance companies. Every caregiver like a hospital, dentists or physiotherapists have their own data about an individual patient. Using Careum, the patient decides what information flows between the different caregivers. By using the blockchain system, all personal data is stored on the device of the patient. It begins by scanning a QR code provided by the caregiver. Subsequently, the patient will select which data will be applicable for this particular consult. In this way, the patient is in charge of the data flow. This will provide privacy. An inbuilt feature of the platform is the possibility to provide all your encrypted data to the blockchain. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) system will analyze all the provided data. When patients approve that their data will be anonymously used, the AI system will search for epidemics. E.G. if in a certain part of Amsterdam the flu spreads quickly, the AI system will be able to detect this spread. Beneficial for caregivers is that Careum is a user-friendly between-professions system. Currently, there is a lot of noise between different caregivers which downgrade the quality of their communication. By verifying the outcome of the consult by both the caregiver and the patient in the blockchain, the quality of the medical information increases.
How we built it
The system is built on the Ethereum blockchain, with a smart contract programmed in Solidity using Mist and Remix IDE. Patients can use an app to manage their data that is built with Flutter and compiled to native iOS and Android code. Android apps use Touch ID to authorize, iOS users can use Face ID. Healthcare institutions can use a panel to manage their patients and appointments that is built using PHP, HTML/(S)CSS, jQuery and VUE.js. The communication with the blockchain is done with Web3.js. All the code can be found at https://we.tl/HucELV0oI6
Challenges we ran into
Ideas do have two faces, we found out that not every solution was eventually a good one. We had to deal with the fact that, in real life, circumstances change. Currently, we live in a healthy political environment. But we should take into account that this could change in the future. This meant that we had to reconsider our initial planned features and develop different applications for the ideas. Another major challenge we ran into was to understand how to use and code blockchain. But due to good explanations and an inspiring workshop, this challenge is beaten as well. Currently, different caregivers use different EHRs. It was a real challenge to be able to link these different EHRs to our own platform. Because medical data is a very delicate topic, the issue about what needs to be done in case of emergency should be thought about. Our principles as described earlier should not be violated. We thought about the next flowchart: flowchart emergency
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of:
- the fact that the patient has the power to decide whether to exchange medical data or not.
- the user-friendly interface for both patients and caregivers.
- the level of privacy we provide for patients.
- Our idea to use AI to analyze trends on city scale within the platform.
- The smart contracts which allow us to be able to still transfer knowledge between different caregivers (who might have different EHRs)
- the security level of the data
- the alarm system which can be used by hospitals if a patient is unconscious that the caregiver still can access the data.
What we learned
First of all, we learned how to participate in a hackathon, the role division and staying awake was fun, and hard sometimes! Thinking about all the different aspects of the case was challenging but really useful! Every time we thought to have a solution, a new problem pops up which need to be handled accordingly. Being in a multi-disciplined team brought a lot of opportunities: Brainstorming about which features the platform should have, making the interface and including it in the platform, and afterwards finding out something was missing so we needed to go through the process another time. We learned a lot about concepting and validating ideas. On a technical level, we learned a lot on how to create an application on the blockchain and implement the blockchain communication on different platforms. Furthermore, it was cool to create an application that uses so many platforms (iOS, Android, webapp, and an external blockchain database).
What's next for Careum
When Careum is running steady a feature that adds a lot of value would be the AI system that can recognize upcoming epidemics. Before going internationally, we see that the next step for Careum would be to run a pilot at a hospital. This would be necessary to evolve the platform in a way that all stakeholders are sufficiently satisfied. If this happens and patients from all over the world use Careum, health trends can be analyzed without violating the privacy of people receiving medical treatment, that's the dream!