Blockchain as-a-service (BaaS) provider Factom has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to meet one of the most urgent needs of the developing world – to secure medical records such that these are persistent, readily available, and reliable.

Factom's blockchain technology builds globally distributed records that can be accessed anywhere and by any authorised person with biometric verification, said a statement.

Medical records are historically documented on paper and stored by clinics. This poses a problem when people move or if the region is destabilised. Creating medical records around an individual and securing them with the Factom blockchain solves both these problems in an affordable and practical way that may provide unique benefits for the developing world.

This type of system gives medical professionals and clinics the tools they need to treat disease and coordinate care in the in the ever-shifting environment of the developing world.

For example, with the use of a smartphone, a medical professional can look up the vaccination record for a baby born in a remote area and make sure they receive the correct vaccinations or an HIV-infected person can access their viral load measurement results.

This technology will save lives and expenses in developing nations that have some of the world's most deadly diseases, it said.

Last month Factom raised a $4.2m (33.3m) Series A round of equity funding led by Tim Draper of Draper Associates to further develop Factom Apollo and Factom Iris products.

Also this year, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded blockchain application developer Factom $199,000 to advance the security of digital identity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

DHS Science and Technology Directorate awarded the funds for a project titled "Blockchain Software to Prove Integrity of Captured Data From Border Devices"; proposals for Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), were submitted under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).