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NMC Health, the UAE's largest private sector healthcare provider, has announced a partnership with UAE-based telecom service provider Du to test Guardtime's KSI Blockchain technology in the country. This is one of the pilots being run through the Global Blockchain Council by the Prime Minister's Office.

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.

Guardtime has supplied blockchain data referencing for the Estonian government and is accustomed to deploying technology at scale. NMC Health comprises a network of 30 healthcare facilities and caters to over 11,000 patients a day.

Electronic Health Records (EHR) with blockchain technology will bring data integrity, security and trust to the flow of patient's information between the health providers and the patient, said a statement.

Mike Gault, CEO of Guardtime, said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Du to bring blockchain technology to UAE. Guardtime will leverage on its expertise as its blockchain technology has been in production for many years in Estonia delivering security and efficiency to health-care services. We would like to thank Du and NMC Healthcare for this opportunity."

Estonia was the first country to deploy blockchain technology throughout government systems with a focus of securing government records and systems from data integrity cyber-attacks. Data integrity attacks are expected to continue to make huge waves in 2017, as highlighted in a recent report by Gemalto.

"We should expect to see more intricate, complex and undetected data integrity attacks in the coming year, for two main reasons: financial gain and/or political manipulation. Data integrity attacks are the ultimate weaponisation of data," added Gault.

Former Estonian President and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Blockchain Working Group, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, said: "Estonia has been at the forefront of the digital transformation of government services for the last decade and we have long recognised that integrity is a foundational problem not just in health-care but for digital society as a whole. Guardtime's blockchain architecture is the perfect solution for any government looking to provide transparency, auditability and security through health-care, smart cities and digital government."

Carlos Domingo, chief new business & innovation officer at Du said: "UAE is at the forefront of innovation in adoption of Smart City technologies. We, at Du, are committed to the use these new technologies keeping data integrity and security at the heart of what we do. With NMC Health and Guardtime, we have deployed Blockchain to ensure data integrity is preserved in the EHR field. Due to the successful results, we will soon explore how adding connected devices increases the value of this technology"

Matthew Johnson, Guardtime CTO, added: "This deployment shows our commitment as a company to Health-Care and Life Sciences and points to our global ambition to become a standard for heath-care integrity and interoperability. Our technology provides seamless interoperability without the need to re-write complex business processes from scratch. Interoperability is a costly and expensive exercise, especially in the US and we solve that problem with a turnkey solution for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL databases."