Ateneo and MediXserve launch blockchain facility AMBERLab

October 30, 2018

Blockchain is the future.

At least, that’s what the Ateneo and MediXserve are betting on. The university and the health-tech company launched AMBERLab (Ateneo-MediXserve Blockchain Education & Reasearch Lab) on October 22, 2018 at the PLDT- CTC Building.
 
Blockchain, in a nutshell, is an incorruptible public digital ledger that can be checked or confirmed by everyone via the internet. It is currently famous for recording the transactions of the internet’s cryptocurrencies though it is said to possess such huge potential that its use should not be confined within the realm of virtual money.  
 
“Blockchain represents nothing less than the second era of the internet,” MediXserve Founder and CEO Jojy Azurin said at the launch. “Everyone is saying that blockchain is the next internet.”

MediXserve is a health-tech company that uses blockchain to permanently secure medical and health records. It believes in the technology’s potential to revolutionize the way people do things. Once the blockchain industry matures and the public interest in it heightens, blockchain research and development together with educational efforts will then have to make their way into the corridors of leading universities such as the Ateneo. So together with the university, MediXserve founded AMBERLab to be a venue for research and education of blockchain technologies. The lab aims to further blockchain’s reach and use in the health-tech, fintech, edutech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics and all other industries.

MediXserve Founder and CEO Jojy Azurin says, “Everyone is saying that blockchain is the next internet.”

 Dr. Regina Estuar, Chief Research Officer of MediXserve and Executive Director of AMBERLab, reiterated the university’s vision for AMBERLab, which is to help find solutions to the country’s growing problems.

"We want to pave the way, for the landscape and the digital space of 2030," says Dr. Regina Estuar, Chief Research Officer of MediXserve and Executive Director of AMBERLab

“I’d like to align AMBERLab with the mission and vision of the university and most importantly, to the mission and vision of the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science. Because the IT that we are developing in this university is not for profit, “emphasized Estuar. “The IT that we are developing in this university is a different scape because we want to develop IT practitioners who code with a heart, which they know who they are writing for and therefore we serve in this nation-building. So we focus on health, disaster, transportation, and every complex problem that every ordinary Filipino takes on every single day of his or her life.” She further went on with “we want to pave the way, for the landscape and the digital space of 2030. Blockchain research is an untapped area, especially in developing economies but designed and managed well will best serve such economies. Our doors are open to any kind of collaboration and partnership.”
 
The first one to take them up on this invitation is NEM Philippines, a chapter of the NEM Foundation which is a blockchain platform provider. “I believe NEM is one of our first partners that have been with us to develop curriculum and electives for blockchain, which I think is the first step towards this goal of preparing for the blockchain invasion,” she said.
 
Azurin added that the lab will focus on four areas, namely research, education incubation, and community. With blockchain still in its infancy, much research is needed to propel its growth yet there is a significant number of students interested in learning more about it even if it is only in its early stages. To address this demand, Mr. Azurin pointed out that the top 50 universities in the world has started to include blockchain subjects in their curriculum particularly in the departments of anthropology, history, and political science. Following suit, this AMBERLab is targeting to start teaching blockchain in the Ateneo by January 2019.