Distributed systems have the potential to improve the lives of people from many walks of life. There are many benefits of using a distributed system:
- They are very extremely resistant to hacking, an attack on a proof of stake blockchain such as Ethereum would require a 51% miner majority in the network
- IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) allows for peer to access to files allowing users at large distances to access information much easier than a centralized server
- No middlemen. The benefit of allowing the security of healthcare information to be entrusted to the Ethereum blockchain is that there are middle men that can be careless with the security of data or ask for large amounts of money for the service. All transactions are fairly priced at the cost of the strain the put on the EVM.
What it does
Interplanetary Healthcare allows for healthcare data to be securely stored on the Ethereum blockchain and IPFS allowing for peer to peer exchange of healthcare information between doctors and patients. Patients and Doctors can create an account and securely share their appropriate documents using IPFS content hashes. Patients then can connect to any medically enabled devices that they own ranging from smart phones and smart watches, to blood sugar readers, blood pressure readers, thermometers and many more. Their data is then encrypted and stored on the EVM and can be accessed and reviewed only by their personal doctor. This system could potentially allow their information to be anonymously public allowing researchers to study trends in health data of certain demographics. Blockchain would allow for the patient providing the data to be in full control of what can be seen and ensure the privacy of their identity, and allow for researchers to be confident that the data is sourced from real people.
How I built it
The backend is the Ethereum blockchain and an api created with Python Flask that allowed for us to make easy calls and writes to the chain.
The frontend is an app created with the Ionic framework. Ionic allows for apps to created using Angular 4 and compiled to be a mobile app that can run on a phone.
We didn't have access to a ton of useful hardware, but the pebble time was the best we could do for a proof of concept for medical devices connecting to the application.
Challenges I ran into
None of us had much experience working with frontend. So getting the ionic app looking decent was a challenge. The pebble watch was found to be very difficult to develop for, the sdk how to be downloaded and modified in order to get our app that connected to the api on the pebble watch.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud that we got a descent looking front end working when we previously had very limited experience working on frontend. We are glad to take away the experience of learning Ionic and Angular and are excited to use it in future projects. We also got a proof of concept working for all of the important aspects of the app, from reporting data from medical devices, to using a blockchain and ipfs backend, to displaying all of the information on a nice looking app.
What I learned
We all learned a bit of the Ionic framework, and many on our team learned the value of blockchain in fields unrelated to finance such as healthcare.
What's next for Interplanetary Healthcare
Expansion to more medical devices that were mentioned above. Fine tuning of the API. Security audit of the smart contract.