Guardtime Secures Over a Million Estonian Healthcare Records on the Blockchain

Bylan Allison | IBTimes | March 3, 2016

Guardtime, a cyber-security provider that uses blockchain systems to ensure the integrity of data, is partnering with the Estonian e-Health Authority to secure over a million health care records. Guardtime uses Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a blockchain technology that provides massive-scale data authentication without reliance on centralised trust authorities. Unlike traditional approaches that depend on asymmetric key cryptography, KSI uses only hash-function cryptography, allowing verification to rely only on the security of hash functions and the availability of a public ledger.

Healthcare was named as something of a laggard when it comes to blockchain uses in a recent report. There are limitations regarding healthcare that blockchain providers typically run into, explained former US defence security expert Matt Johnson, now chief technology officer (CTO), Guardtime. Johnson told IBTimes: "The Guardtime KSI blockchain is a bit different than say, the Bitcoin protocol, or the Ethereum protocol. Those blockchain providers have to address patient privacy issues because they literally put a copy of the transaction and the data itself in their blockchain.

"Because they only thing that we are passing is a signature, patient privacy is assured and then the ability to actually extend a keyless signature to customers allows you to do real time tamper and manipulation detection. The rest of the industry hasn't caught up to develop a solution on how you do that with those other two protocols. KSI was focused first on large scale or massive scale data management, and so the protocol and the infrastructure stack is really optimised for this particular use case. It's a problem that we feel we have solved. The re-use for healthcare providers and insurers is something we are particularly excited about..."