Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Doc.ai and Anthem use AI on blockchain to predict allergy events

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2018



California-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform Doc.ai is working with US health benefits company Anthem to launch an AI data trial on the blockchain to analyse allergy patterns.
 
Doc.ai connects people, data scientists, developers and the healthcare industry to improve patients' health outcomes.
 
This 12-month trial, with support from Anthem, will begin this month and explore whether AI can be used to predict when people will experience allergies or allergy patterns. To do so, Doc.ai and advisors from Harvard Medical School will develop a framework for using machine learning to identify predictive models for allergies based upon the phenome (for example age, height, weight), exposome (such as exposure to weather or pollution based on location) and physiome (physical activity, daily steps) data collected from participating Anthem employees and members of the public.
 
"Our exposomes – including air pollution, pollen and even the changes in the weather – can exacerbate and cause allergy and its irritating symptoms," said Chirag Patel, assistant professor of Harvard Medical School. “So far, prediction of allergy symptoms for individuals based on their exposomic and health history has been limited and is far from use as a tool for intervention to close the loop. I'm excited to work with the Doc.ai platform and team to develop computational tools to predict allergies and observe in real time how effective this information is for allergy sufferers for improving life with the symptoms.”
 
Participants will help accelerate research and benefit from the system's personalised health insights.
 
"Anthem is focused on leading our industry in the safe and responsible use of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies to create a better healthcare future for all Americans," said Gail Boudreaux, chief executive officer of Indiana-based Anthem. "We are pleased to partner with Doc.ai on this innovative study that can have near-term benefit for our employees and, longer term, the potential to redefine how we treat disease and manage chronic medical conditions to achieve better personalised health outcomes."
 
Data trials that rely on the confluence of blockchain, precision medicine and AI are a fairly new concept. AI-powered data trials are designed to empower individuals to gain control of their own health data and to provide doctors and researchers with more precise real-world data to predict and change health outcomes. In addition, Doc.ai's end-to-end platform – which includes all aspects of the trial on one platform, such as recruitment, engagement, on-going data collection and the predictive models – can shorten the research process and lower the cost of bringing insights to market.
 
"Any initiative in healthcare using AI needs scale to succeed," said Walter De Brouwer, co-founder of Doc.ai. “We are very excited to welcome Anthem as our partner in supporting and using technology to enable individuals to collect and own their health data while empowering data scientists using deep learning to collaborate with consumers, doctors and researchers to find personalised healthcare solutions.”
 
The allergy data trial with Anthem is the first in a series of trials Doc.ai expects to host in the coming months to accelerate medical research in multiple areas including epilepsy, Crohn's disease, Lyme disease and pain management.
 
Doc.ai executed a successful securities token sale offering of its cryptocurrency the Neuron – NRN – in October 2017. NRN will be available in October to fuel the entire marketplace, a first-of its-kind blockchain environment for healthcare that will be open to consumers, data scientists and healthcare providers.
 
This ecosystem is built on the Ethereum blockchain to leverage smart contracts, enabling both user privacy and ownership of data, as well as the integrity and the provenance of the data for the predictive models.