du developing EHR blockchain pilot
Electronic healthcare records based on blockchain solution to verify and protect patient data
Du has announced plans to develop a blockchain-based system for electronic health records for the UAE.
The blockchain solution, which is being developed as a pilot with specialist company Guardtime, will improve safety and accuracy in maintaining patient healthcare data.
By using blockchain distributed database technology, du aims to develop a system which will enable safer and more secure keeping and sharing of EHR between healthcare facilities in the public and private sector, with verifiable data and better data protection.
In a presentation at the Keynote Blockchain Technology Conference in Dubai, du explained how it plans to replace the lengthy existing manual process with a system that can transfer, and automatically verify, patient records in seconds. The medical record-sharing process used prior to this technology was both lengthy and cumbersome, and prone to human error. Crucially, blockchain helps tamper-proof sensitive patient records by adding enhanced layers of security, which renew each time a file is shared. As a result, patients are left reassured that any hospital or clinic they visit will have instant access to their medical records. For hospitals and clinics, the new service introduces a more efficient method of treating patients, saving valuable resources and saving costs.
The initiative is one of the first to come from the Global Blockchain Council, led by the Dubai Future Foundation, as part of Dubai's Future agenda that was approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"We are following our leadership's directive to put plans into action through the Future Agenda. Blockchain is a technology that can make transactions and transfers safer and faster; and by launching pilot projects through the Global Blockchain Council members, we will be showing real examples of the impact that this technology can have and the role it can play in Dubai's fast-paced development. du has always been on the forefront of supporting innovation in the UAE. In this pilot, du will be taking the healthcare sector in UAE a step closer to having smarter services. We are very proud of this initiative, which will be prototyped in Dubai, and we look forward to receiving the positive reviews of its implementation," said Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation.
Carlos Domingo, senior executive officer New Business & Innovation at du said: "We're proud to be bringing another first in innovation to the UAE, and at the same time help Dubai in achieving its ambitions for a healthier, smarter future. We're creating a common, faster protocol for sharing patient information across the UAE, bringing a new age of efficiency to the healthcare sector. With this technology in place, patients entering any clinic or hospital can be assured those treating them will already know their medical background - in emergency situations this could save lives."
EHR through blockchain technology can also help UAE government to develop big data for the residents of UAE which can assist civil defense and health authorities to plan strategies to overcome any medical emergencies or epidemics. This pilot also marks an important step towards digitising hospitals to become part of Smart City.
Mike Gault, CEO of Guardtime added: "We are thrilled to participate in this Dubai pilot. Our experience in implementing blockchain-based systems within Estonian government, a global leader in electronic governance, will facilitate the development and integration of the solution and will ensure the fastest and most secure access to patient records."
du has also partnered in another blockchain technology pilot with Loyyal and Dubai Tourism with the Dubai Global Blockchain Council. Loyyal's Dubai Points initiative is a world-first for any tourist destination to have this scheme. du will be facilitating this loyalty points program by providing communications and identity authentication. This program will offer more business opportunities in the loyalty space.