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Grapevine World: Health services powered by public cloud

Sometimes data can save lives. For example, in medicine. If emergency doctors or hospital physicians knew more about their patients, they could intervene and treat them in a more targeted way. However, it’s not only in Germany that those involved in the healthcare system find it difficult to provide uniform solutions for the quick and easy exchange of medical data.

Patients want the exchange of health data

According to a study by the independent market research and consulting institute "Heute und Morgen," 90 percent of those with statutory health insurance support the idea of exchanging electronic health data. The respondents hope that this will lead to better medical cooperation between attending physicians and therapists (88%) and better early detection of diseases (71%). 40 percent would also be prepared to link fitness data recorded by wearables with medical data. And those willing to provide data for research purposes is 41 percent. The prerequisite: Three quarters want to be able to determine how the data is managed and transferred.

Proprietary solutions prevent data exchange

"The willingness of citizens to provide health data has increased significantly. However, there are still no solutions that allow doctors to easily access digital patient data from previous examinations and diagnoses. There are mostly proprietary solutions that are incompatible with each other. A full-coverage network of care can however only succeed if there is not a patchwork of different solutions,” says Martin Tiani, founder and CEO of Grapevine World.

EU wants IHE exchange format for health data

The Austrian company wants to change this. Particularly since the European Commission confirmed in February 2019 that the electronic health systems would have to be made more interoperable. Grapevine World is building a decentralized, interoperable ecosystem for the seamless, standardized and secure exchange of health data based on the IHE standard. Since 2015, the EU Commission has officially recommended IHE as an exchange format for electronic medical records. This is to ensure secure, interoperable and cross-border access to and exchange of electronic health data in the EU.

Portrait of Grapevine World Managing Director Martin Tiani Grapevine World Managing Director Martin Tiani: The company has set itself the goal of the global, standardized exchange of data in the healthcare sector.

Patients decide on every access to data

Grapevine World's business model is based on a backbone and a marketplace. The backbone forms the data highway which networks the various providers of health services – such as doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, scientists and health insurance companies. Insured persons retain control over their data by being able to access it at any time and from any location. They decide with whom they share their data and for what purpose by issuing a clear declaration of consent on a case-by-case basis – whereby patient data protection is guaranteed by complete data anonymization. The duration of the access can be determined by each patient.

Blockchain for controlling data access

Grapevine World uses a blockchain to log the access to the data. It shows who accessed which data, when and how. Health data itself is not brought into the blockchain for security reasons. All health data remains where it was created. "One of the fears of opponents of digital patient records is that data will be stored centrally and patients will lose control of their personal information," says Grapevine World CEO Martin Tiani. "In our ecosystem, each patient uses an app to share individual data for a particular purpose and with one doctor for a specific time. Only in this way can we achieve the highest possible level of data protection and prevent the misuse of individual people’s medical information."

Health service in the Open Telekom Cloud

Grapevine World operates the marketplace in the Open Telekom Cloud, Telekom's public cloud offering. This is where providers of healthcare services can offer their products and services. Among other things, doctors can obtain second opinions from specialized physicians or patients can participate in clinical studies with anonymized data. Grapevine World is a participant in Telekom's "SoftwareBoost" partner program. As part of the program, Grapevine World is relocating its blockchain-based, secure exchange of health data services to the Open Telekom Cloud. Telekom Deutschland is thus one of the core hosting providers for Grapevine World services for the secure international exchange of health data. The use of Telekom's public cloud enables data storage with special consideration of data privacy, data security and GDPR. It is operated in Deutsche Telekom data centers in Germany and is subject to European data privacy law.


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