In today’s digital world, unless we are living under a rock, most of us would have bought things online; some of us also would have sold things online using the services of e-commerce websites. Imagine going online, but instead of purchasing a mobile phone or a t-shirt, you are able to buy healthcare-related data generated by patients! It can be related to the efficacy of a brand of antidiabetic medicine, or side effect profile of a particular group of pain killers, or the cost of different brands of anticancer medicines, or the effect of an antidepressant medicine on liver and kidney function.
The concept of healthcare data marketplace or healthcare data monetisation is all about the purchase and sale of healthcare related data. This concept is becoming popular across the world, and is also making an entry into India. Earlier this month, MarksMan Healthcare Communications Pvt. Ltd. launched India’s first Healthcare Data Marketplace and Healthcare Data Monetization platform called KYT or Know Your Treatment.
But the real question is, who would buy such health-related information? What about confidentiality? How would a misuse of such healthcare data be prevented? And more basically, is such a healthcare data marketplace really required?
The easiest to answer is the last question. Dr Amit Dang, MD, Pharmaceutical Physician, Founder and CEO of MarksMan Healthcare Communications and Founder of KYT explains: “As on 2019, the estimated value of healthcare analytics market is a whopping 14.0 billion USD, which roughly translates to INR 10 lakh crores! Currently, the main contributors of this market include patients from the USA. Needless to say, with Indian patients gradually realising the importance of how valuable their health-related data is, the value of this market is only going to go up!”
But who would be willing to pay such a crazy amount of money to obtain health-related data from patients? Ms Dimple Arora, Data scientist and Co-founder, KYT answers: “Pharmaceutical companies who are in the search of the next blockbuster drug are in need of real-world healthcare data from Indian patients. With the realisation of the value of real-world data for the development of new drugs and also for regulatory purposes, pharmaceutical companies are in search for credible, well-generated healthcare-related data, preferably voluntarily obtained from informed and consenting patients. Using such health-related data, pharma companies would do complex analytics and try to pick up signals which would help them undertake clinical decision support, revenue cycle management, population health management and value-based analytics.”
And who are the sellers? As with any other item, the seller of the healthcare data is the one who owns it. But who owns the healthcare data? Is it the doctors? Hospitals? Laboratory? According to Dr Pawan Rane, MD, Oncologist, and Co-founder of KYT, the real owner of a patient’s healthcare data is none other than the patient. While a patient is hospitalised, the medical record is undoubtedly the hospital’s property; but the healthcare data contained within those records is definitely owned by the patient. And by extension, a patient can use this data to sell it to those who would be willing to pay for it. This is exactly where healthcare data marketplace comes into picture.
The two major concerns for any such entities offering healthcare data marketplace are safety and trust. The KYT app solves both of these problems by offering a secure way to upload and save health-related data with a friendly user interface. Dr. Amit Dang clarifies: “The KYT app provides provision to all patients to control the sharing of their data, which means that their health data can only be used after they give their due consent to do so. Dr. Pawan Rane further mentions that “To ensure confidentiality of data and to prevent unwanted disclosure of sensitive data, we anonymize the data before sharing it with any third party. That way, the buyers of the data – pharmaceutical companies – would only receive the data, and not the identifying details of the patients. This makes KYT app a secure and safe place to save your health-related data and share it with potential buyers in return for a suitable incentive.”
KYT also acts as a patient’s own healthcare dairy which can be used to chronicle the health and medication history in a secure manner. Ms Dimple Arora concludes: “In many Western countries, medical records are digitalised: a concept called Electronic Health Record (EHR). However, many hospitals in India continue to rely on paper records. Further, in the West, health insurance companies maintain a valuable database of patient health data. Such a database is unfortunately lacking in our country because of poor penetration of health insurance in India. In this background, KYT is a novel platform by which willing and consenting patients generate credible electronic versions of their health data, with an additional advantage that this data can also be shared in exchange for money.”