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STTR Phase I: Increased Scalability for Blockchains applied to Healthcare

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1913753
Agency Tracking Number: 1913753
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: OT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-31
Small Business Information
1660 Soldiers Field Rd
Brighton, MA 02135
United States
DUNS: 054672769
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Lucas Hendren
 (618) 531-6259
Business Contact
 Lucas Hendren
Phone: (618) 531-6259
Research Institution
 University of Massachusetts Amherst
 Brian N Levine
Research Administration Building 100 Venture Way, Suite 201
Hadley, MA 01035
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The broader impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project is to drive down healthcare costs by enabling access to data through blockchain technology. The healthcare system is plagued by inefficiencies, many of which boil down to the inability to access the right data at the right time because of technological and business barriers. Leveraging blockchain for data access can drive an identified $100 billion in savings. However, while an estimated 40% of senior finance executives expect their firm to invest in blockchain over the next 2 years because of its transformational qualities, the transaction speed of blockchain needs to be improved. This project addresses this need, bringing a critical scaling innovation to Health Nexus - the open source, HIPAA-compatible blockchain. This STTR Phase I project proposes to address several technical hurdles that will lead to successful commercialization. The project will deploy novel Graphene protocol for efficient propagation of completed transactions across the Health Nexus network. Graphene is a recent breakthrough in block propagation technology that requires a small fraction of network costs compared to existing technology, promising to improve performance of Health Nexus while lowering its costs. The project's research and development will seek to deploy Graphene on Health Nexus and quantify its performance in practice. Additional goals include designing and deploying fast methods for encoding blocks and selecting protocol parameters, methods for managing variation in the level of transaction synchronization among peers, and robust methods of recovery from failure. Early consensus identifies opportunity in supply chain management, drug distribution, and claims processing and billing, but there are innumerable amount of potential applications of blockchain in healthcare that cannot be predicted now - just as it would have been impossible to predict smartphones in early Internet days. The economic impact of bringing down healthcare cost has the potential to benefit millions of lives in ways we cannot imagine. This infrastructure is crucial as the foundation of blockchain innovation. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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