Consensus Networks Q3 2020 Update

Previous Updates
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Overall:
We’re excited about the future of Factom and are continuing our push to help further develop and evangelize the protocol. While we are primarily an infrastructure ANO, we desire to make both technical contributions to the protocol and help grow the Factom community. Outlined below is the progress on the contributions we pledged to Factom as an ANO and other significant projects we have taken on using Factom over the last quarter. We have funded everything to date out of our own pockets and are proud to be contributing to the growth of this outstanding protocol.


Infrastructure:
In July/August we completed significant infrastructure deployments for supporting our ANO operations and have maintained 100% server uptime since then. (We did lose a docker container last week due to the ‘Pokemon’ bug).


Healthcare SBIR:
We have been keeping this under wraps as a surprise to the community, but are pleased to announce the successful completion of our Phase I SBIR through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as the submission of our Phase II application. This effort took much of our time in August and September and we are excited to share some details, including that the platform is built utilizing Factom as a backend ‘source of truth’ for sharing patient data between hospitals and key stakeholders. Phase II is a two-year grant with significant funding and we will receive feedback in November on our application with a chance to reapply if not awarded. We will be releasing a whitepaper in the coming weeks with more details and technical specifications. We have had serious interest from healthcare enterprises and providers to continue the commercialization of this product and intend on doing so regardless of Phase II outcome. We will share updates with you all as we are able, and are excited to be advancing this project and Factom alongside the NIH. If successful, this project could bring Factom into health systems across the U.S and we are eager to be bringing this product to market.


Factom/Twitter:
Our focus on our NIH grant left us less time to work on our Twitter project however we were still able to complete a basic MVP that has a user interface with a basic form - list layout that allows you to insert a twitter handle and ID and begin writing tweets to Factom and tracking their account. This can be done for as many accounts as you wish to track. The Github repo and instructions for how to use the software can be found here. [https://github.com/consensusnetworks/ScribeProject] We’ve run into some trouble fully dockerizing it, however, it’s at a point where we can start to do some customer validation and will be focusing on the user experience over the next quarter and building out a consumer-facing portion. We will continue to update the community as we make more progress on this project and advance the consumer-facing portion. With the SBIR Application out of the way, we intend on making significant headway on this project over the next quarter and are eager to be bringing products to market using Factom.


SIMBA Chain integration:
We are continually moving forward in our talks with SIMBA Chain to add Factom to their platform. We haven’t officially agreed to the details, however, they’ve expressed significant interest in adding Factom to their standalone platform as well as their Smart Contract as a Service platform on Azure. Their platform will be a great addition to the Factom universe and will continue to make us more attractive for government applications. They are currently on Azure and their platform makes smart contract and decentralized application development much simpler through an easy to use drag and drop UI that then generates the corresponding code to integrate with your application. They have over 1000 developers on their platform currently and are expanding. We believe this presents an attractive opportunity to promote Factom to more developers and increase the number of applications using Factom, thus promoting adoption. We will continue to post updates as we move forward in our conversations with them.


Additional


In addition to our progress on our proposed ANO applications we have contributed to growing the Factom community in several other ways, both technical and otherwise. Again, these efforts have been entirely self-funded to date and we are excited about contributing to Factom.


Pegnet:
We have aided in the Pegnet effort by running a miner on our physical infrastructure to ensure it is running at all times in a secure environment. We plan to continue running our Pegnet miner in this environment in the future and as the network continues to grow will increase our contributions here as needed by the community.


Marketing/Community Outreach:
Connor joined the FactomProtocol blog and has written two articles thus far. One pertains to the applicability of Factom in Regulated Industries and the other contrasts Factom from Hyperledger and expounds upon why Factom is a superior choice for enterprise. Connor plans on continuing contributing to the Factom Protocol Blog to promote spreading the word about the protocol and its value as an enterprise blockchain solution.


Technical:
During our work on the Healthcare SBIR project we are using Factom for, we found it necessary to port the factomd library into the asyncio library for python to accomplish some of the compute tasks necessary to finish the software. We are currently in the process of finishing up documenting this library and will be open-sourcing it to the community! We hope that this will help make it easier for others in the community and elsewhere to asynchronously interact with the Factom blockchain to create more robust applications and increase adoption by developers for use in other web applications.
Primary

Overall:
It has been great to see all of the developments made on PegNet and other projects throughout the ecosystem within the last few months and some congratulations are in order for everyone across the community who has been contributing to these efforts. As 2019 comes to a close, we are more excited than ever about the 2020 prospects for Factom as these efforts continue to grow and evolve. While primarily functioning as an infrastructure ANO, we wish to also assist in making technical contributions to the protocol and efforts to grow the Factom community. Outlined below is a progress update on the contributions we pledged to Factom as an ANO and other efforts we have taken on using Factom over the last quarter. We have funded everything to date out of our own pockets and are proud to be contributing to the growth of the network.

Infrastructure:
We have maintained 100% uptime on all of our servers since being elected into the active set. We are currently operating two mainnet servers across two different data centers with backups and two testnet servers.

HealthLink (Healthcare SBIR):
As we mentioned in our last update, through a Phase I SBIR through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) we have been building out a population health data sharing platform utilizing Factom as a backend ‘source of truth’. We are still awaiting the results of our Phase II submission, which has slowed down some of the technical development of the product. Phase II is a two-year grant with significant funding for completing R&D for a V1 product and commencing commercialization so we have been focusing on finding and solidifying commercial partnerships in the enterprise healthcare space to pilot our technology and help with distribution while we wait for the NIH to get back to us. We plan to continue commercializing this product regardless of Phase II outcome. However, given the magnitude of funds available should we be awarded the grant we are just trying to allocate our resources appropriately and make sure we optimize our development timeline and product roadmap. We promise to share updates with you all as we are able, and are excited to be advancing this project and Factom alongside the NIH and the possibility of bringing the protocol into health systems across the U.S.

Scribe (Factom/Twitter):
With our technical load from the HealthLink project reduced we were able to focus more effort on this project and are excited to announce that we have successfully developed a dockerized MVP of the product! In its current form there is one docker image to run a native web application where you can input a twitter handle and twitterid for an account and another to run the daemon that will begin asynchronously processing the ~2000 most recent tweets for the account and writing them to Factom and spin up a Stream listener that then tracks the account and writes any tweet an account posts from that point on to the Factom Blockchain. In its current form it can track as many accounts as you wish and it will asynchronously process requests for all of them and each account is written to its own chain. While still very much a work in progress, we are excited about the possibilities that something like this could have given recent tweets from Jack Dorsey ( ) & Balaji Srinivasan ( ). We are still trying to identify what the final commercial use case for something like this, so any suggestions/input from the community is welcomed! If you want to play around with the current version or hack on it yourself the GitHub repo is here: https://github.com/consensusnetworks/ScribeFlask

Additional

In addition to our progress on our proposed ANO contributions we have made several other contributions to growing the Factom community in several other ways and identified other projections which we will explore using the protocol for. Again, these efforts have been entirely self-funded to date and we are excited about contributing to Factom.

Pegnet:
We joined the Orax mining pool and have been running miners for PegNet on our data center infrastructure. We currently have 6 CPUs dedicated to PegNet and are excited about the future prospects of the protocol! We will look to continually support the Pegnet effort by contributing miners and other help where we can and are eager to see how this project continues to grow in 2020.

DoD:
In December we were awarded an SBIR Phase I Grant through the Air Force AFWERX program to investigate using blockchain for managing software chains of custody. Our proposal for the grant was also predicated on technologies we had developed through our Phase I grant for the NIH, which uses Factom for secure data sharing. While the Phase I of this grant is intended primarily for finding an Air Force customer and identifying their needs, we believe this could be a well suited use case for Factom and are excited about the possibility of being able to use the protocol to secure DoD software chains of custody!

Technical:
During our work on the Healthcare SBIR project we are using Factom for, we found it necessary to port the factomd library into the asyncio library for python to accomplish some of the compute tasks necessary to finish the software. We are currently in the process of finishing up documenting this library and will be open-sourcing it to the community! We hope that this will help make it easier for others in the community and elsewhere to asynchronously interact with the Factom blockchain to create more robust applications and increase adoption by developers for use in other web applications.
Overall:
It has been great to see all that the projects throughout the community have accomplished within the last few months, especially given the crazy circumstances throughout the world, and we would like to start by congratulating all involved. Despite continued discussions regarding rebranding and qualms over token price, we continue to remain more excited than ever about the 2020 prospects for Factom. While we function first and foremost as an infrastructure ANO, we are huge believers in Factom and seek to make technical contributions to the protocol and grow the broader Factom community where we can. Outlined below is an update on the contributions we have made to Factom over the past quarter - we try to get these out as quick as we can, within 14 days of the quarter ending. As in quarters prior, we have funded all work to date on our own and are proud to be contributing to the growth of the network.

Infrastructure:
We have nearly 100% uptime on all of our servers since being elected into the active set (short term internet losses at a data-center have been resolved, Discord thread contains additional detail). We are currently operating two mainnet servers across two different data centers with backups and two testnet servers.

HealthNet (Healthcare SBIR):
A lot of work was done over the past quarter to advance the HealthNet project. To start, we released our official v0.1 of the whitepaper, which can be found here. Our CEO, Nathan, also presented our research on HealthNet and using Factom to develop ‘blockchain-enabled solutions in a heavily regulated environment’ at the end of February at the Blockchain and Digital Transformation in Health in 2020 Conference put on by the Austin Blockchain Collective in conjunction with the Dell Medical School at UT Austin. While there, we met some academic researchers who were interested in collaborating. As a result, they want to explore using HealthNet as a care coordination platform for HIV patient populations in a major US city (top 10) and have included us on a grant submitted to the CDC for the matter.

We received feedback regarding our proposed Phase II effort from the NIH at the beginning of January. However, we have yet to receive a definitive response regarding approval or rejection. The next decision cycle for the NIH ends in a couple of weeks, so we should find out fairly soon either way. The feedback we received was overall positive. From a technical standpoint they generally liked and understood the value of the technology. Their only pushback was to tie the underlying blockchain-enabled interoperability tech to a specific application/use case within Healthcare, which we have been working to do.

Given the extended timeline of awaiting a response from the NIH, Consensus Networks has been proactively taking steps to build upon the feedback we received in January and intend on resubmitting later this year. To start, Consensus Networks has formed a strategic partnership with a physician led health-tech company currently serving a twelve hospital health system in Michigan. We are working closely with them currently to enhance their offerings and they have agreed to provide guidance on the project from a physician perspective. Additionally, we have identified prenatal and maternal care coordination as a niche use case for HealthNet. We are working to build out an application on top of HealthNet currently that we can pilot with regional health systems in our area. We have also gained verbal confirmation of support in a refactored phase II proposal from a prestigious non-profit that maintains a statewide database of Patient Health Information that works with startups and both public and private sector firms to conduct Clinical Research. Should we not receive approval in this next cycle, our resubmission will be framed around using HealthNet to facilitate this prenatal care work with assistance from these parties.

DoD:
As mentioned in our last quarterly update, in December we were awarded a Phase I contract through the U.S. Air Force to investigate using blockchain for securing and managing software chains of custody. We just completed our Phase II submission for this project and are excited to share we have found an interested unit within the DoD that wants to use our product to secure chains of custody throughout the development and deployment process of various system software. We should find out in the next 3 weeks if our proposed phase II effort is approved. If awarded we will begin adapting some of the technologies we created for blockchain-enabled data sharing from our HealthNet project and others to the DoD for this use case. We believe this is a use case that is well suited for Factom and are excited about the possibility of being able to use the protocol to secure system software throughout the DoD! Regardless of the Phase II results this round, we’ve secured several significant relationships with key DoD stakeholders that will advance our work through alternative funding routes in the DoD.

Pegnet:
We have continued to run 6 CPUs on our data center infrastructure dedicated to PegNet. We will look to continually support the Pegnet effort by contributing miners and other help where we can and are eager to see how this project continues to grow in 2020.
Overall:
Despite the precarious global climate as a result of the pandemic, we have been proud to be a part of the Factom community and its continued fortitude even amidst some ANOs being forced to resign or furlough. These have not been easy times, but we still believe the best years are ahead for Factom and are eager to continue to work alongside all of you to make this a reality. Our first responsibility to the community is as an infrastructure ANO, but we are huge proponents of Factom and seek to make broader technical and community contributions to the protocol where we can. Outlined below is an update on the work we have done using and on behalf of Factom over the past quarter. As in quarters prior, we have funded all work to date on our own and are proud to be contributing to the growth of the network.

Infrastructure:
We have maintained near 100% uptime on all of our servers since being elected into the active set. We are currently operating two mainnet servers across two different data centers with backups and two testnet servers.

HealthNet (Healthcare SBIR):
We’ve secured another SBIR Phase I grant, this time through the Department of the Navy to use HealthNet to secure medical supply chains in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week (7/13/20 - 7/19/20) marks the first official week of work on the project, so we will keep you updated as it progresses. The grant is for a 5 month period of performance, with the possibility of follow on Phase II funding available in January 2021. We will be utilizing Factom as a layer of truth for securing identities and metadata related to real time data collected from a variety of medical IoT connected devices. We have much work to do, but are excited about the possibility of using Factom to reduce the impact of the pandemic on DoD medical supply chains. We still intend on applying for phase II funding through the NIH at a future date, but believe our technology and team are better aligned with the scope of work laid out in the DoN grant so we will explore this opportunity first. We've also been accepted into the Matter health technology accelerator which we believe will help us continue to find early adopters for our technology.
Current Update: Consensus Networks Q3 2020 Update
Hello Factom Community,

We wanted to get an update out regarding our activities over the summer and fall. We've been heads down working on our HealthNet platform so apologies for being somewhat absent recently.

First, we're just closing out our Phase I SBIR with the DoD for HealthNet. This was an accelerated topic so very fast-paced and we really pushed ourselves hard to accomplish a major web application within 4 months. HealthNet is an integrated data environment that is able to take live data from medical supply chains through temperature monitoring, Bar-code and RFID scanning, and more. This data is pushed to the environment where several things happen. First, we record important aspects of the data, such as a Unique Identifier for a device, to the Factom blockchain. HealthNet solves a key problem in pharmaceutical and medical supply chains today, namely serialization requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act of 2013. Per the most recent Healthcare Distribution Alliance survey of medical manufacturers, only 32% will be in compliance with the Act by the end of 2022 when the law goes into full effect.HealthNet’s blockchain technology enables complete traceability of medical supplies back to manufacturers, solving this important and legal requirement. HealthNet also runs live analytics on the data, prescribing to healthcare stakeholders when to order more medical supplies and where to allocate limited resources based on need. Lastly, HealthNet is built to export data to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) a growing, worldwide medical record interoperability standard. This makes is compatible with basically all Electronic Health Records and health systems. The growing attention COVID-19 has put on lack of technology within healthcare supply chains has opened several doors for our chances to commercialize this product and we're excited to be able to share more as we're able to in the coming months. Our Phase II application went in on Friday and we'll know more early next year whether our R&D will continue to be funded.

Second, we're applying for renewal of out Phase II for HealthNet with the NIH. We've been working on this for quite awhile as you all may remember. It was originally designed for patient data sharing across providers and still is to a degree but has broadened its scope to leverage success and need we've found when working on our Navy grant. We're looking to use population health data to drive improved insights across healthcare supply chains in order to better predict and allocate resources and care. The goal is to proactively address issues, vice reactive as most healthcare supply chains are administered now.

We hope you all have a great holliday season and stay safe and healthy! We'll strive to improve our interactions with the community and give more regular feedback and input!
 
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