The health sector has seen unprecedented change in recent years. Digital engagement between patients and providers is at an all-time high, with more personal health information stored and shared digitally than ever before.
In 2020, Haventec, in partnership with 23Strands, embarked on a 12-month project to deliver eConsent for Genomics: a cyber-secure digital health consent solution. eConsent for Genomics is built on Haventec’s proven data and identity security platform, and provides a secure digital experience for storing and sharing personal health information.
Operating at the leading edge of data privacy and cyber security, Haventec’s internationally patented technologies are engineered to empower users to own and control their identity and personal data, while removing vulnerabilities that organisations spend millions trying to protect. Having successfully built a robust platform to secure data within the highly regulated financial services sector, Haventec was well-placed to receive funding and support from AustCyber on this project.
Solving a challenge at the core of storing sensitive health data
The global health and wellbeing sector relies heavily on institutions to keep data accurate and safe, in systems that are increasingly complex, rich with sensitive and personal information, and internet accessible.
However, our trust in these systems has come at a cost. Current strategies and technologies have not protected sensitive health information, with the health sector regularly topping the list of notifiable data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Sophisticated cyber-attacks increasingly target sensitive data, and there is widespread recognition that existing technology solutions do not mitigate violations of privacy and theft of critical value data.
In 2020, AustCyber’s Digital Trust Report identified the rapid digitisation of the health and MedTech sectors as both a risk and opportunity for Australia’s cyber security ecosystem. With health providers relying on digital channels more than ever before, both patients and healthcare providers urgently need a solution to the inherent weaknesses and complexity of current data storage and sharing models.
Haventec set out to deliver a capability that would exceed 23Strands’ requirements and address key challenges within the health and MedTech sectors by extending Haventec’s proven data and identity security platform.
In a bid to fast-track the project amid rising cybersecurity threats, regulatory changes and increasing urgency for safe digital services, Haventec applied to AustCyber’s Projects Fund.
After their application was successful, Haventec and 23Strands developed a joint governance structure to oversee the project, with 23Strands’ established relationships with healthcare providers offering crucial avenues for piloting the new solution.
A game changer for the healthcare sector and Haventec
The accelerated project has since achieved sector leading results. Individuals can now have complete control over how their sensitive health data is used and shared, without compromising their right to privacy. Secure decentralised data storage removes control of the data (and the associated risk) from service providers, such as 23Strands, via access to Haventec APIs. Yet parties can collect, share and use consented health information without the risk of data or digital identities being stolen and misused.
As a result of participating in AustCyber’s Projects Fund, Haventec has also experienced a significant boost to their business in terms of team growth, market awareness, investor interest, and advancing the Technology Readiness Level of their platform.
The company was recently accepted into the NSW Government’s Go Global UK program, as well as Austrade’s Weve program for the US. They are also the Cyber Security Category winner in the Australian Technologies Competition 2021, and a finalist in the InnovationAUS Awards 2021 for cyber security“Data and identity are the key foundations for trust in the connected world.
“Data and identity are the key foundations for trust in the connected world,” says David Maunsell, CEO of Haventec. “Health service providers constantly handle health information about their patients and understand that health information is sensitive and needs to be treated carefully. Handling this information appropriately underpins the trust in a provider-patient relationship.
We are confident in our platform’s ability to deliver a world-class consent experience that enables people to securely share their personal and sensitive health information, and help providers to the health and MedTech sector store that information in a highly secure and compliant way. The project has provided outcomes that are in demand by health and wellbeing enterprises, their customers, and regulators around the world.”
Advice to aspiring Projects Fund participants
Across the next 12 months, Haventec will continue on its journey to protect digital identities from cyber harm, and keep ‘data that matters’ safe. Their goal is to empower customers to strike a balance between openness of data and risk management by converging identity and data security technologies with a best of breed solution.
“We are excited about the contribution it will make to the Australian and global cyber security space, and will continue to run demos with health practitioners while raising awareness of this exciting new solution that will benefit thousands of healthcare providers and millions of patients.” says David Maunsell.
The eConsent solution aligns with AustCyber’s Industry Knowledge Priorities, specifically:
- Emerging prevention, detection and response technologies;
- Identity, authentication and authorisation in the cyber domain;
- Approaches to deal with the increasingly 'shared' responsibility of cyber security;
- Ensuring security, privacy, trust and ethical use of emerging technologies; and services (specifically cloud computing relevant and mobile applications).
For other organisations thinking about participating in the Projects Fund initiative, David offers this advice:
- Reach out to a previous participant for advice and ongoing mentoring.
- Work closely with the AustCyber teams for each reporting milestone to ensure expectations on both sides remain aligned.
- Practise, practise and then practise again your initial pitch – this needs to bring life to your idea in a way that allows you to stand out in a very competitive process.
- APPLY – your business will benefit from the additional capital and ongoing support that AustCyber provide