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美国卫生部新的COVID-19跟踪系统使用了区块链和Palantir技术

2020-7-28 12:49

 

大约两周前,美国卫生与公众服务部(HHS)从卫生与公众服务部下属的疾病控制中心(CDC)接管了医院报告的COVID-19疫情的控制权。那些认为美国卫生与公众服务部具有政治色彩的人认为这一举动具有争议性,并对美国卫生与公众服务部新的保护平台提出了透明度方面的担忧。根据我们的研究,政府承包商Palantir在没有竞标的情况下获得了该项目的大部分项目,这是过去几个月它收到的几份HHS合同之一。平台使用区块链。


区块链的主要作用似乎是确保数据不被篡改。在卫生部门的常见问题中,HHS回答了这样一个问题:“这些数据会被政府内部的政治任命人员操纵吗?”回应声明HHS将监视操纵尝试,但也暗示了区块链的角色。


在捕获点,数据是时间戳和散列或指纹。HHS表示:“这允许HHS跟踪数据是何时被整理、何时被解析以及何时被访问的。”它还使It能够监视更改。

哪个区块链?


但区块链技术的使用是一个谜,而不仅仅是被允许使用的区块链。区块链只有在足够分散的情况下才是不可变的。一段时间以来,HHS的CIO Jose L. Arrieta一直在带头采用区块链。他不愿透露区块链的名字,但他告诉《福布斯》,区块链“不是无政府主义者和颠覆者的区块链,而是平台上成千上万的用户访问数据集的新一步。”


这种神秘的反应完全有可能只是为了避免让人看到自己认可某种特定的技术。但它也可能是Palantir公司的一项新技术,该公司在COVID-19紧急项目中获得了美国卫生与公众服务部的大部分保护项目,没有竞争。


在一个单独的HHS项目中,Octo咨询公司提供了Logchain区块链解决方案。2019年1月,美国卫生与公众局(HHS)对自动化工具(包括区块链)提出了多年的建议,有不低于57家获奖者,包括Palantir、埃森哲(Accenture)、德勤(Deloitte)、EY和Guardtime。后者为爱沙尼亚政府提供了DLT解决办法。


就收集的数据而言,它是相当广泛的,涵盖了200个数据集。最公开的方面是COVID-19病例计数来源。此外,它还包括医院能力、利用率、库存和来自各州和领土的供应。


但到目前为止,最敏感的方面是诊断实验室测试数据。美国卫生与公众服务部表示,他们不会分享个人可识别的健康记录数据。


然而,根据与英国国家卫生服务体系(NHS)达成的协议,Palantir(以及谷歌和其他公司)可以访问英国的个人数据,而NHS只支付了一英镑的Palantir Foundry软件许可证。据称,该公司将这些数据用于机器学习模型。

Palantir所扮演的角色


Palantir是加利福尼亚数据公司,为美国国防部提供服务。该公司最近向美国证券交易委员会提交了首次公开募股的初步申请。美国证券交易委员会也是其最大的客户之一。


我们研究了Palantir参与HHS项目的情况。今年4月,该公司获得了美国卫生与公众服务部价值750万美元的保护项目,尽管当时该项目已经启动。同样在4月份,它获得了1740万美元的Gotham软件授权。


此外,它还参与了NCATS的协作科学平台,其目的是“整合、管理、保护和分析从基础研究到临床前研究、临床研究、临床实施和公共卫生改善等各个转化领域的数据。”今年1月,《权力的游戏》获得了700万美元的奖金,这是此前奖项的延续,去年9月获得了470万美元。


当宣布的时候,NCATS系统被用于癌症和艾滋病的研究。很难想象它不会被用于COVID-19,这意味着数据的收集和分析都由同一家公司负责。

 

Almost two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took over control of COVID-19 reporting by hospitals from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), an HHS organization. Those who view the HHS as political have deemed the move controversial and raised transparency concerns over the new HHS Protect platform. Government contractor Palantir was awarded the bulk of the project without competitive bidding, one of several HHS contracts it received in the past few months, according to our research. And the platform uses blockchain.

The primary role of blockchain appears to be to ensure data is not tampered with. In a Health Department FAQ, the HHS responded to the question: “Will this data be manipulated by political appointees within the government?”. The response states that HHS will monitor manipulation attempts but also hints at blockchain’s role. 

At the point of capture, the data is timestamped and hashed or fingerprinted. “This allows HHS to track when the data was curated, when it was parsed, and when it was accessed,” says HHS. It also enables it to monitor changes.

Which blockchain?

But what blockchain technology is being used is a mystery beyond it being a permissioned blockchain. Blockchains are only immutable if they are sufficiently decentralized. HHS’ CIO José L. Arrieta has been spearheading HHS blockchain adoption for some time. He would not identify the blockchain but told Forbes that it “is not the blockchain of the anarchists and disruptors, but rather as a fresh step forward where thousands of users on the platform are accessing data sets.”

It’s entirely possible the mysterious response is simply to avoid being seen to endorse any particular technology. But it could also be a new technology from Palantir, the company that received the bulk of the HHS Protect project without competition under a COVID-19 emergency program.

In a separate HHS project, Octo Consulting provided its Logchain blockchain solution. And in January 2019, the HHS ran a multi year proposal for automation tools, including blockchain, with no less than 57 awardees including Palantir, Accenture, Deloitte, EY and Guardtime. The latter has provided DLT solutions for the Estonian government.

In terms of the data being gathered, it’s quite broad, covering 200 data sets. The most public aspect is the COVID-19 case count sources. Additionally, it includes hospital capacity, utilization, inventory and supply from states and territories.

But by far the most sensitive aspect is diagnostic lab testing data. The HHS says it doesn’t share personally identifiable health record data. 

However, under a deal with Britain’s National Health Services (NHS), it’s claimed that Palantir (as well as Google and others) had access to UK personal data and the NHS paid just one pound for the Palantir Foundry software licenses. It allegedly used the data for machine learning models.

Palantir’s role

Palantir is the Californian data company known to provide services to the U.S. Department of Defense. It recently made a preliminary filing for an IPO with the SEC. The SEC also happens to be one of its biggest clients.

We researched Palantir’s involvement in HHS projects. The company was awarded the $7.5 million HHS Protect project in April, although it had already launched it by then. Also in April, it was awarded $17.4 million as a license for its Gotham software. 

Plus, it’s involved in the NCATS Collaborative Scientific Platform, where the purpose is “to integrate, manage, secure, and analyze data across the translational spectrum, from basic research through pre-clinical research, clinical research, clinical implementation, and public health improvements.” For that, it received a $7 million award in January, which is a continuation of previous awards, including $4.7 million last September.

When announced, the NCATS system was said to be used for cancer and AIDS research. It’s hard to imagine it won’t be used for COVID-19, which means the same company is responsible for both collecting and analyzing the data.

 

来自: Ledger Insights