This design pattern employs an asset exchange model derived from the Bitcoin. In this model a piece of data is treated as a digital asset and that asset is be made available on an exchange for trading. The ledger tracks asset ownership, exchange, utilization and forms a basis for asset reputation. The governor and operator of the exchange need not take ownership of the assets themselves, but may have some control over the infrastructure through which assets are traded. The consortium is primarily interested in the value created through the buying and selling process. Buyers of the information finance the platform. Curators of data assets are paid for their contributions, as are partners who help facilitate the use of the solution.
Such two-sided marketplaces have a challenging go-to-market, since they need critical mass of assets in order to attract buyers and sellers. This model expands on the utility concept with an exciting business model that can be applied to a range of problems in healthcare and life sciences.
Hashed Health is a fan of asset exchanges and has several asset exchange projects underway (Professional Credentials Exchange and Bramble are two). While challenging in many regards, we believe this model has a strong incentive structure for both sides of these marketplace. We believe these blockchain / DLT-based “market networks” could have a dramatic effect on certain data management use cases over the next ten years.
Perhaps the best known asset exchange in healthcare is the Professional Credentials Exchange (“ProCredEx” or “PCX”). The digital assets offered in PCX represent verified practitioner credentials, which health systems are required to assemble in order for a physician to treat a patient. In today’s world this complex work of verifying credentials is being completed offline by a health system or some other curator in a many-to-many transaction pattern. The data, once collected, sits idle as a cost center. Enterprises currently do not trade this information primarily because of trust issues. In the PCX model, the verification of a physician’s identity can be offered to another organization who needs to do that same work. The buyer can acquire this information from the ecosystem much faster and cheaper than attempting to do that work alone.
PCX is a clear example of a use case where there is a need for the technology (trust in the verified digital artifact), there is a valuable new business model enabled by the technology (an asset exchange), and there is a network of enterprises (Spectrum Health, Wellcare, Anthem NGS, MEDNAX, and others) who have signed up to use and support the platform.
Design Pattern: Asset Exchange
Protocol: Blockchain or DLT
Governance complexity: Low
Business model: Two-sided marketplace
Challenges: Go to market / critical mass of assets
First-order problems: data access; transactional privacy; data asset ownership
Examples: Professional Credentials Exchange