There are two ways your health data could be stored: as a fortress or as butterflies.
Here is an interesting part. You don’t want your data to be in a fortress. You want it to be a group of butterflies.
In our ongoing educational series, Daniel Satchkov, head of machine learning at WellAI, introduces the two types of data security models and explains why your health data could be at risk.
So why don’t you want your health data to be stored in a central place, such as an EHR system?
If something is stored in a centralized way, it will inevitably be stolen. For example, during Google’s Project Nightingale four years ago the data wasn’t stolen. But Google was forced to cancel the project because of public outcry that Google was opting patients in to store their data on Google servers.
All fortresses are destined to fall at some point. In a fortress, patients’ data is concentrated in one central place. Yes, that place is a fortress (e.g. Google’s cloud). But it’s a high-risk fortress.
There is also a risk of a human factor. Data fortresses are run by humans after all.
As you have probably guessed, a fortress is an example of centralization.
Butterflies are an example of decentralization. In blockchain, there is a very important component: everyone holds their own keys to the “castle”. Instead of a group of butterflies, a better example would be a group of fortresses. In blockchain, every person’s private key is a fortress. It’s therefore exponentially much harder for hackers to break into a decentralized system.
Decentralization is critical for humans, in particular for providing data privacy in healthcare and other industries.