Magazine article Newsweek

As the Cost of Genetic Testing Goes Down, Fear of Genomic Data Leaking Rises. Is Blockchain the Answer? as the Cost of "Sequencing" DNA Has Dropped, More and More Patients Are Undergoing Genetic Testing. How Will the Medical Industry Use That Data to Further Research and Clinical Practice While Preserving the Privacy of Patients? David Yizhar, the Founder and CEO of Israeli Startup Geneyx, Thinks Blockchain Technology Could Offer a Solution

Magazine article Newsweek

As the Cost of Genetic Testing Goes Down, Fear of Genomic Data Leaking Rises. Is Blockchain the Answer? as the Cost of "Sequencing" DNA Has Dropped, More and More Patients Are Undergoing Genetic Testing. How Will the Medical Industry Use That Data to Further Research and Clinical Practice While Preserving the Privacy of Patients? David Yizhar, the Founder and CEO of Israeli Startup Geneyx, Thinks Blockchain Technology Could Offer a Solution

Article excerpt

Byline: Fred Guterl

It would be hard to imagine a more revealing source of personal information than our own DNA. The 3 billion units of genetic information contained in each individual's genome are a road map of ancestry, personality and potential ailments. As the cost of "sequencing" DNA has dropped, more and more patients are undergoing genetic testing. How will the medical industry use that data to further research and clinical practice while preserving the privacy of patients? David Yizhar, the founder and CEO of Israeli startup Geneyx, thinks blockchain technology could offer a solution. "We want to make genomic data available without putting people's privacy at risk," he tells Newsweek. "People need to be able to trust that it is secure and anonymous."

If you have some kind of mutation and your genome is in our system, you can go into it and find there are five people like you in our database. You can contact them--if they allow it--and you may find a treatment in another part of the world.

This is the main issue. When we put an individual's genome into the blockchain, we cut it into pieces, into many different files. This ensures that no one file contains enough information for [a hacker] to take it and trace it back to that individual.

The normal way hospitals do this now is to put the whole genome in one place on a local server. …

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