Blockchain and healthcare: the Estonian experience

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In 2016, the Estonian government was looking for new and innovative ways to secure the health records for its 1.3 million residents. It turned to Blockchain technology.

Article written by Taavi Einaste, Head of Digital Healthcare at Nortal

 It may or may not revolutionize the internet, depending on who you ask. But without any doubt, the incorruptible distributed ledger technology known as Blockchain has proved its potential for applications where data integrity is critical.

Away from the frenetic world of cryptocurrency, developers and investors are looking for new areas where they can unleash Blockchain’s powerFinance, logistics and electronic copyrights top the list as the most talked about. The same goes for healthcare in Estonia, specifically in regards to securing patients’ electronic health records. Still, practical cases have proven hard to identify.

Estonia, home to one of the world’s most e-savvy governments, has become the first country to dabble in using blockchain for healthcare on a national scale. In 2016, the Estonian E-Health Foundation launched a development project aimed at safeguarding patient health records using blockchain technology in archiving related activity logs.

“We are using blockchain as an additional layer of security to help us ensure the integrity of health records. Privacy and integrity of healthcare information are a top priority for the government and we are happy to work with innovative technologies like the Blockchain to make sure our records are kept safe,” said Artur Novek, the foundation’s Implementation Manager and Architect.


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