Author: Ivo Lõhmus
Content Provider: Zenodo
Blockchain, the underlying protocol behind Bitcoin, has received a tremendous amount of attention over the last two years. Whilst initially focused on financial services, the technology holds much promise for addressing challenges in health-care system. Electronic health records and related information systems have several advantages over historical paper-based management - smooth data transfer between medical care providers, patient empowerment etc. While being convenient and effient these systems always raise security concerns - how to ensure that such sensitive data is securely stored and how to protect against unauthorized access and manipulation. And ultimately: who can we trust and on what basis? Blockchain technology has huge potential to solve the security issue - and today this is beyond theory - there are blockchain-based security solutions in production. Guardtime has developed Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) - a blockchain technology for ensuring integrity of data, systems and processes. It provides data signatures that allow to assert integrity, signing time and signing entity of valuable assets - without trusting any central authority. It scales to billions of signatures per second - making it effectively possible to sign and verify every single medical record, access log entry etc.
Estonian Government has been one of the early adopters of the technology and there are integrations in production for several years already. One of the most recent integration is with Estonian E-health Foundation - for securing medical records against tampering and providing means to independently audit the system. In the presentation I will give an overview of how KSI Blockchain technology works and review how it is applied in Estonian public sector (focusing on the integrations in health-care system).
This article is published under license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Illustration Photo: Health Applications for Android Tablets (credits: Intel Free Press / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))