- Anthem is teaming up with blockchain-based artificial intelligence platform doc.ai to explore whether AI can be used to predict when people will experience allergic reactions.
- Using a framework developed by doc.ai and advisers from Harvard Medical School, machine learning will identify predictive models for allergies based on data such as age, height, weight, pollution exposure and physical activity collected from Anthem employees and members of the public.
- Doc.ai streamlines the clinical trial process by including recruitment, engagement, ongoing data collection and the predictive models on a single platform, according to Anthem. The year-long trial launched Wednesday.
Blockchain is gaining momentum in healthcare. A recent Black Book Market Research survey found 76% of health insurance executives and 19% of hospital leaders said they were either thinking about deploying the technology or already using it. Even more — 82% of payers and 29% of hospitals — reported having a working knowledge of blockchain.
Earlier this year, Humana, Optum, UnitedHealthcare and Quest announced a blockchain-enabled pilot to improve data quality and cut time and costs associated with changes to updating provider network registries.
And last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Walmart a patent for a system that stores a person’s medical information in a blockchain database and allows first responders to access it in a medical emergency.
AI-powered studies like this one could help with population health by getting people to share real-time personal health data with doctors and researchers to better predict and improve patient outcomes. If it is able to predict problems, improve care and save money, that will bolster the potential for these types of tech platforms and offer providers an alternative to prior authorization and coverage restrictions.
The allergy study with Anthem is the first of several that doc.ai hopes to conduct in the coming months. Other data targets include epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease and pain management.
Anthem employees could see near-term benefits from the study, CEO Gail Boudreaux said in a statement, adding there is, “longer-term, the potential to redefine how we treat disease and manage chronic medical conditions to achieve better personalized health outcomes.”