Simtech Development

What Should You Know About Data Marketplaces?

Gayane Tamrazyan

Marketplaces are not only for physical products. The information age brings own specifics to the way of how we trade. The same as markets went digital, the same data is on sale now.

A data marketplace is the software platform where information is sold and bought meaning that there are multiple sellers, aka data providers, and multiple buyers, aka data consumers.


Depending on the ownership, there may be three types of information sold at the market:

  • Personal data where the owner of data is an individual willing to earn from personal information that he or she possesses (like health data, emails or social accounts);
  • Business data where the ownership belongs to a company (statistics, reports or analytics);
  • IoT data where the data contributors are sensors (data gathered from IoT devices like smart waste bins, street lights, water gauges, etc. in case of a Smart City model).

However, there is no strict and common definition of data marketplace from country to country. The market is not fully formed as for legislation, security issues, pricing policy, and best practices.

Case Study

Let’s sort out what is what and who is who on the data marketplace by the example of the health industry.

On a health data marketplace, vendors can be individuals willing to sell their medical data whether taken from wearables or reported by a healthcare organization. A challenge for the marketplace owner, in this case, will be ensuring the trustworthiness, structuring, transition security and legislation conformity of data. Different countries have different rules on this matter. For example, in the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not stipulate ownership, and state laws are discrepant.

In Europe, GDPR regulations are meant to encourage businesses to deliver control of personal data back to the individual. These rules do not exactly specify the ownership. However, GDPR makes a provision for citizens to access and authorize others to use their data. It is notable that India has appeared to be one of the few nations where the issue is clearly set. The National Health Portal established the patient data guidelines by defining that “physical or electronic records, which are generated by the healthcare provider, are held in trust by them on behalf of the patient”. At this, “he contained data in the record which are the protected health information of the patient is owned by the patient”. Patients “have the privileges to restrict access to and disclosure of individually identifiable health information”.

So, legislation is not an obstacle to launch a market to sell health data. Take the case of the marketplace. It enables citizens to download a copy of all their health data and connect together multiple data sources: from social media to wearables. Thus, a secure personal data library is created on DropBox, Google Drive or another cloud-based platform.

One more example of a health data marketplace is the Nebula Genomics. The company provides DNA data and an ability to manage and monetize health data for people. It applies blockchain technology to exclude a middle link to leverage security. Moreover, they allow individuals to get a reward in the form of cryptocurrency by granting access to their genome data to pharmacies.

Another start-up, Flatiron, has the reverse model to sell data. Instead of providing access, it grants de-identification ability to buyers.

Data marketplaces inspire great expectations around AI.

A Russian owned company has recently enabled AI powered website,, to allow detecting tuberculosis based on the a shot downloaded by an individual. Although, it is not a marketplace, gathering multiple shots will give the website owners the requisite statistics, in other words, data that can be used as analytics. And analytical data is the data that can be sold to research institutions or other concerned organizations after the proper structuring and processing. Isn’t it a bright idea to form a marketplace?


As you can see, the idea of health data marketplace is becoming more and more viral baked up by innovations and IT capabilities. Initial advances from machine learning and pattern recognition enable efficient diagnosis and better prediction. The deep learning deals with unstructured data and delivers major improvements in treatment. The voice and facial recognition enhance understanding user behaviour. The health data market encompasses all the trends of the digital century: from ML, AI to blockchain, to be the most innovative and promising place to sell products in the near future.

But, that is the Hi-Tech. Needless to say, that health data is the sphere not in everybody’s powers. To start a data marketplace, you can use simpler products like CDs or online sketches. This is a very easy and efficient model. Try to implement the same with the Multi-Vendor. The platform is GDPR compliant. Add a couple of extensions to be more secure, and earn today with your marketplace of downloadable items! And if you need the expert advice in finetuning your data marketplace, don’t hesitate to ask the Simtech Development advice.

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