Estonian Health Records to Be Secured by Blockchain

Medical Technology

The blockchain–based, real-time integrity, network, and data platform Guardtime has announced a partnership with the Estonian eHealth Foundation. The company will secure $1 million USD in health records in the Baltic region used by the Estonian eGovernment infrastructure

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Taimar Peterkop, General of the Estonian Information Systems Authority said of the announcement:

Ensuring the integrity of information we process and store is critical to Estonia’s eGovernance and way of life. You cannot make mistakes, and solely relying on perimeter security and goodwill of the insiders would be inexcusably naive. We need independent integrity instrumentation, both for the data, as well as for our systems, and the blockchain technology has a lot to give here.

Securing Estonian ‘Forensic Quality’ Health Records

Guardtime was founded in 2007 and has a team of over 100 cryptographers, security engineers, software developers, and network architects who build cybersecurity solutions for an array of enterprises, such as Lockheed Martin. With the eHealth Foundation, the service will develop and accelerate blockchain-based security, transparency and governance of patients healthcare records. Estonia has been at the forefront of emerging technology and has over a thousand government e-services.

The organizations believe electronic patient records are a “critical component” of the government’s e-services. Guardtime ’s distributed ledger platform will allow digital “forensic-quality” audit trails of the patients records, which cannot be tampered with. The eHealth Foundation believes the blockchain solutions provided by the business will allow this data to be free from malicious and natural data loss.  

The industrial scale data service will also provide Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) technology to the country’s eGovernance platforms with a partnership through the Estonian Information Systems Authority (RIA). Margus Auväärt, Head of eHealth Foundation said:

The unparalleled scale and frequency of the KSI blockchain give us the capability to maintain continuous real-time situational awareness into the integrity state of assets under our control. It enables us to react to any incidents immediately before potentially larger-scale damages can occur.

Mike Gault, Guardtime

The Estonian e-government has worked with Guardtime since 2011. Other government organizations have also used the company’s services, such as the KSI blockchain method.

“Under the new frame agreement, RIA will make KSI blockchain available for all government authorities,” the RIA explains. 

The country’s eGovernance leaders say that Estonia is one of the first governments to “embrace blockchain technology,” and work with its protocol in its accounting and records systems. Guardtime CEO, Mike Gault, believes his company and the Estonian government can curb fraudulent activity and manipulation in the healthcare system. Gault:

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has repeatedly pointed out the biggest threat in cyberspace is integrity, and, in particular, the integrity of patient healthcare records. This level of transparency and auditability is a global first and with healthcare fraud costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year, the Estonian model should provide a valuable template to dramatically reduce this fraud for the rest of the world.

The Estonian e-government explains that the integrity and data provider has a proven track record of large-scale operations such as its contracts with the telecommunications company Ericsson. The partnership with Guardtime ’s digital ledger technology shows Estonia’s continued belief the protocol is more secure and transparent than current methods of technology used today.

The Baltic country has already tested a blockchain-based identity platform that gives digital authentication to Estonian residents. The platform used was Nasdaq’s Linq and the Estonian e-Residency program enabled investors to become shareholders over the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange.

What do you think about Estonia’s e-governance programs using blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Guardtime, Pixbay