A new company formed out of an integrated innovation enterprise whose anchor investor is the American Medical Association hopes to build a network as a service platform that will use blockchain technology to move healthcare information.

Akiri, based in San Francisco, is working on using information technology to develop its platform to securely share information with participants, using the capabilities of blockchain to build a network of trusted partners to exchange data.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology implemented in a decentralized manner used to record transactions.
The records are kept across many computers such that data cannot be altered retroactively.

Akiri Switch will be a vendor-agnostic solution using software-defined network (SDN) and secure routing protocol technology optimized for healthcare data. It employs blockchain technology to help securely transmit information.

Adriaan Ligtenberg, Akiri’s CEO

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Akiri identifies securing, sharing and using trusted health data in real time as a key challenge in healthcare. It calls its network-as-a-service offering Akiri Switch and it aims “to create a 360-degree network of trust” in which only subscribers to the network can share health data using the network.

The 240,000-member AMA is the first identified participant, and Akiri says Celgene, the global pharmaceutical company, is also collaborating.

Executives believe that Akiri Switch will secure and simplify the IT infrastructure for provider organizations, transmitting information through its trusted network architecture. For physician participants, the network could enable the use of technologies that can help build doctor-patient relationships.

Akiri Switch won’t function as a health information exchange or an extract, transform, load (ETL) process. It’s described as “an invitation-only, subscription-based, ultra-secure private network.” Executives say applications also can be developed and validated to run on its infrastructure.

With its start in the AMA-supported Health2047 innovation center, Akiri received $10 million Series A investment, it has built out its team with engineering talent, attracting staff from Apple, Cisco, GE Healthcare, Stanford, VMWare and others, executives say.

“Akiri is positioned to support security, identification, authentication, compliance, analytics and applications,” says Adriaan Ligtenberg, Akiri’s CEO. “Akiri Switch verifies healthcare data sources and destinations, allowing trusted applications to be developed and validated for patients, physicians, providers, pharma, payers and other healthcare enterprises.”

“We must advance and embrace new technologies that have the potential to create truly meaningful market impact at the system level,” said James L. Madara, MD, the AMA’s CEO. “The data liquidity problem that physicians and other healthcare stakeholders currently face needs to be solved because it’s one of the biggest barriers to improving the patient-physician relationship.”

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