Healthcare players in the region can tap now overcome data analytics and cybersecurity challenges by tapping into a high-trust sandbox platform

According to Forbes research, over 90% of businesses surveyed valued data as a critical enterprise asset and essential competency. However, in Asia, no data platform has been made available for the healthcare industry despite the highly sensitive nature of patient data.

Industry players here have been challenged by the lack of technological capabilities and data-compliant processes while data consumers have been grappling with varied tech maturity and development, and a lack of trust.

To address this, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has delved into methodologies for Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) and Confidential Computing to create a high-trust data platform for healthcare players to navigate complex market data and obtain clear and actionable insights.

Said IMDA’s Chief Executive, Lew Chuen Hong: “PETs are a set of technologies that help businesses to access data and derive new insights or build new AI products while ensuring trust,” citing how his agency’s PET Sandbox program allows participating healthcare firms to tap on external data sources to enhance their market strategy for new pharmaceutical products, while at the same time protect patient data. “This (sandbox) demonstrates how the technology can help businesses to innovate with data while ensuring data protection for consumers, both of which are essential to our burgeoning digital economy,” Lew noted.

IMDA’s first PET partner
The first pharmaceutical player to join IMDA’s PET Sandbox program is Zuellig Pharma, which has in turn created first regional healthcare data consortium called the Digital Health Exchange (DHEX).

Hosted on Google Cloud, DHEX is the first use case under the PET Sandbox initiative) that connects data partners with data consumers to accelerate seamless access to actionable healthcare insights and intelligence, paving the way for data democratization and insight innovation for healthcare in Asia.

By leveraging PET to boost compliance with data privacy and competition laws, DHEX harnesses data from various healthcare providers and Zuellig Pharma itself, across 13 markets through advanced analytics to foster a secure collaborative ecosystem to deliver data-centricity. Data on DHEX is optimized to deliver actionable insights and commercial value and upholds a new standard of trust.

According to the firm’s Head of Data Analytics, Michael Andrew: “Adopting PET helps to ensure that data remains confidential in trusted environments — allowing businesses to extract value from data without exposing the data itself, thereby protecting personal data and commercially sensitive information in an industry like healthcare. This technology increases the options for business-to-business data collaboration through flexible partnership models and enables secured encrypted transfer and cross-border data flows — providing accessibility to curated datasets or aggregated insights to help (data consumers) connect the dots.”

The firm’s Chief Digital and Data Officer, Daniel Laverick, noted that the region’s healthcare industry had been grappling with data silos, the lack of quality healthcare data from data partners, and problems accessing and consuming data safely. “Through the PET Sandbox initiative, Zuellig Pharma Digital & Data aims for DHEX to establish standards and best practices for wider adoption of PET,” Laverick said.