Blockchains were discovered to be useful for sharing the parameters of AI models used to diagnose cancer by a medical research team. Using Ethereum’s smart contracts, three independent teams of researchers were able to update their AI models at the same time without the need for a centralized authority. AI algorithms are being used to forecast the appearance of malignant cells in the body.
Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has the potential to revolutionize the field of cancer research. The Ethereum blockchain, a decentralized platform for building and executing smart contracts, can be used to create a secure and transparent environment for sharing and analyzing sensitive medical data.
Cancer research relies heavily on the collection and analysis of large amounts of patient data. However, this data is often siloed and difficult to access, making it challenging for researchers to make meaningful breakthroughs. The decentralized nature of the Ethereum blockchain allows for the creation of secure, decentralized data networks that can facilitate the sharing of patient data across institutions and researchers.
Decentralized Information Exchange
The Ethereum blockchain is being utilized to fight cancer throughout the world. Swarm learning for decentralized artificial intelligence in cancer histology, a research article written by 27 distinct writers and published in Nature Medicine in April, mentions in one of its footnotes that the team began utilizing the Ethereum network for its cancer investigations.
The research claims that artificial intelligence (AI) can assist anticipate the appearance of malignant cells in patients by collecting information about the shape and size of cells that the human eye cannot see. The vast datasets required to operate such AI systems, on the other hand, pose “practical, ethical, and legal hurdles” in terms of data collecting, especially if the data is shared between nations.
One solution is to use federated learning (FL), which does not need researchers to share their data, only their locally-trained AI model weights (or parameters). The issue is that such systems rely on a single coordinator who basically combines all of the model weights—and so has total control over the research project and its commercial exploitation.
Instead, the team highlighted the growing usage of swarm learning (SL), a technique that uses blockchain technology to avoid giving control to a centralized institution. In other words, SL allows teams to share their AI model weights while keeping all participants on the same level, which facilitates cooperation among a larger number of parties and, in turn, feeds AI models with more data, making them stronger.
One potential use case for Ethereum in cancer research is the creation of a secure, decentralized patient registry. This registry would allow patients to share their medical data with researchers, while maintaining control over who has access to their information. The registry could also be used to track the progress of clinical trials and to monitor the efficacy of treatments.
Another use case is the use of smart contracts to automate the process of drug discovery and development. Smart contracts can be used to automate the process of sharing and analyzing data, reducing the need for manual intervention and increasing the speed of drug development. Additionally, the use of smart contracts can increase transparency and trust in the drug development process by creating a tamper-proof record of all actions taken.
The study team expressly mentions that it employed Ethereum smart contracts to synchronize the AI model weights of three independent computers at certain periods. In effect, all three partners had updated their AI models at the same time, eliminating the need for a coordinator to manually combine model parameters. “In this scenario,” the report adds, “the blockchain preserves the model’s global state information.”
The study discovered that AI systems generated by the configuration outperformed locally trained AI models and performed on par with other models trained with merged data sets (and that the technique was more data efficient). As medical practitioner AriGoldNFT explained on Twitter after pointing out the item, “a hospital in New York can speak with one in Los Angeles through nodes.”
Furthermore, Ethereum can be used to create a decentralized marketplace for buying and selling cancer research data. This marketplace would allow researchers to access the data they need to make breakthroughs, while also providing an incentive for patients and institutions to share their data.
This is significant news for the cryptocurrency community in general, and for smart contract platforms in particular. Blockchains have proven tremendously valuable in the realm of finance thus far, but detractors and enthusiasts alike have lamented the technology’s lack of acceptance in other industries. Vitalik Buterin, the developer of Ethereum, declared in August that cryptocurrency needs to “morph into something useful” over the next ten years. It’s difficult to think of a more deserving use than medicine.
Finally, Ethereum can be used to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for funding cancer research. These organizations would be run by a decentralized community of stakeholders, and would use smart contracts to manage the distribution of funds. This would allow for a more democratic and transparent process for allocating resources to cancer research projects.
Overall, Ethereum has the potential to significantly impact the field of cancer research by facilitating the sharing and analysis of sensitive patient data, automating the drug development process, creating a marketplace for buying and selling research data, and providing a decentralized and transparent method for funding cancer research projects. However, it’s important to note that Ethereum is a new and rapidly evolving technology, and its application in the field of cancer research is still in its early stages. More research and development is needed to fully realize the potential of Ethereum in this area.
One of the key benefits of using Ethereum for cancer research is the ability to create decentralized networks that can securely and transparently store, share, and analyze data. This is particularly important in the field of cancer research, where data privacy and security are of paramount importance. Decentralized networks allow for the creation of a secure, tamper-proof environment that can be used to store and share sensitive patient data, without the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.
In conclusion, Ethereum has the potential to revolutionize the field of cancer research by providing a secure, transparent, and decentralized platform for storing, sharing, and analyzing data. Additionally, smart contracts and dApps can be used to automate data analysis and create decentralized marketplaces for research collaboration. Furthermore, Ethereum can be used to fundraise for cancer research and create dApps that can help patients manage their treatment. As the technology and ecosystem evolve, we are likely to see more of the use cases mentioned above in the field of cancer research.